Apple is expected to unveil a new line of iPhone devices this Tuesday (12), while doubts about market access in China and competition hang over the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.
The iPhone accounted for more than half of Apple’s $394.3 billion in sales last year, but the company faces new challenges selling in China, the company’s third-largest market.
The market expects the iPhone 15 line models to bring new battery charging ports, titanium covers and more sophisticated cameras. The launch, scheduled at Apple headquarters for this afternoon, will take place at a time when the Chinese government increases some restrictions on the use of iPhones.
Apple also faces competition from Huawei Technologies, which was its main rival in China’s premium smartphone market until US export controls ruined the Chinese company’s phone business in 2019. Last week, Huawei began selling the Mate 60 Pro, a high-end phone that uses Chinese-made chips that some US lawmakers believe were manufactured in violation of sanctions imposed by Washington, which is trying to contain Chinese technological advancement.
Huawei wants to gain an advantage over Apple by installing additional features, such as satellite calling that relies on China’s government-backed network. The current iPhone lineup includes satellite communications capabilities, although they are only intended for emergency situations.
Experts estimate that the biggest change in this Tuesday’s launches for most Apple customers will be the exchange of Apple’s proprietary “Lightning” standard ports for the globally accepted USB-C standard.
Apple was forced to make the change due to European regulations, but analysts believe the company will say the change is an upgrade, taking advantage of faster data speeds that can transfer high-quality videos taken with iPhones.
Analysts also expect new “periscopic” camera technology that could give phones better zoom capabilities and titanium cases, as well as updated chips. These “periscopic” lenses can use mirrors or prisms to have a longer lens without having to make the camera module much larger.
The biggest question of the day will be whether Apple will reserve these features for a new high-end device and make smaller updates to the cheaper models.
“Just as we’ve seen people who aren’t ultra-athletes buy the Apple Watch Ultra, we’re going to see a lot of people buying this device even if they’re not camera or photography enthusiasts, just because they like the latest and greatest,” said Ben Bajarin, chief executive and principal analyst at Creative Strategies. “That alone creates the buzz, the momentum and the fascination for the top of the line.”
The market also expects Apple to increase the average price per phone sold to increase its revenue, but the question is whether the company will do this by raising prices in general or just on premium versions. The global smartphone market fell from 294.5 million to 268 million units in the second quarter, but Apple’s sales fell the least among the main manufacturers, falling from 46.5 million to 45.3 million devices, from according to data from Counterpoint Research.
“The truth is we’re in a very weak smartphone market,” said Bob O’Donnell, head of TECHnalysis Research.
O’Donnell said he will also be watching for any hints about Apple’s plans for what’s known as generative artificial intelligence, the technology trend behind apps like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s digital assistant technologies for the Office software package.
Analysts have repeatedly questioned Apple about its plans for the technology, but the company has given few hints so far, other than Chief Executive Tim Cook’s comments in July that the company’s secret work on the technology is increasing its risks. research expenses.
“Is Apple going to introduce an advanced form of Siri? That would be something that would generate some excitement,” O’Donnell said.