Lukewarm reviews for the iPhone 11 as new model remains more expensive than competitors despite price drop and three cameras and lack of 5G are ‘not enough to wow buyers in China’
- Apple’s share of the Chinese smartphone market has been diminishing recently
- The firm’s cheaper new iPhone offerings are still more costly than rival devices
- Unlike Huawei and Vivo’s alternatives Apple has yet to offer up 5G support
- In addition, Apple’s new paid streaming service will not be supported in China
Lowered prices and three cameras may not be sufficient to attract consumers in the Chinese smartphone market to Apple’s new iPhone offerings, analysts caution.
The three new models — the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max — remain more expensive than devices sold by local manufacturers.
In addition, the iPhone 11 series will not support high-speed 5G connectivity, nor will it offer the Chinese market support for Apple’s Netflix-style streaming service.
China has the world’s largest smartphone market — one that is already crowded with rival handsets with competitive features and price tags.
These have been driving down Apple’s share of the Chinese market in recent years.
Apple unveiled of the latest three models in its iPhone fleet in California yesterday.
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Lowered prices and three cameras may not be sufficient to attract consumers in the Chinese smartphone market to Apple’s new iPhone offerings, analysts caution
THE IPHONE 11 AT A GLANCE
Apple’s new iPhone 11 boasts several improvements over its predecessor, including:
– A new chip. The A13 Bionic is faster and more efficient, allowing for an hour more battery life over the iPhone XR.
– A new Ultra Wide camera. A new camera will allow users to capture wider images and enable ‘Night Mode’ for low-light photography.
– Slow-motion video. The phone’s front-facing camera is now capable of capturing 4K video at 60 frames per second. This allows users to film slow motion video.
‘More competitive aggressive pricing and a better camera would be its selling points,’ said Will Wong, of the International Data Corporation, who tracks China’s phone market.
However, he added, ‘the market is still full of challenges, both market competition and macroeconomic factors.’
The iPhone 11 features two back cameras with an ultra wide-angle lens, and is driven by a next-generation microchip, dubbed the A13.
Prices for the iPhone 11 will start at $699 (£565), down from last year’s new iPhone that started at $749 (£606).
Apple has now dropped the price of last year’s equivalent model, the iPhone XR, by $150 (£121).
The more expensive iPhone 11 Pro, which has three cameras on its back, will retail starting at $999 (£808) while the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which features a larger screen, will sell from $1,099 (£889).
However, as was anticipated, none of the new models will be 5G-enabled, leaving Apple’s latest offerings lagging behind the handsets already released by rivals Huawei Technologies and Vivo, which support the superior connection.
‘Since we still have to wait a year for 5G, why not just buy Huawei on Monday,’ said one user on China’s Twitter-like service Weibo.
On social media, a meme trended featuring Apple CEO Tim Cook bragging about the new features, to which Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, responds by pointing out that Huawei has had those same features for years.
One of the main draws of Apple’s new launch for US buyers — a $5 per month Netflix-style streaming service — will not be available in China.
Apple’s share of the Chinese market in the June quarter fell from 6.4 to 5.8 per cent compared with the same period the year before, said research firm Canalys.
Huawei experienced a surge in support from Chinese consumers during this time, after the brand was caught up in a trade war between the United States and China.
The three new models — the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max — remain more expensive than devices sold by Chinese manufacturers
Counterpoint analyst Neil Shah said that the entry price, while lowered by Apple, remains high compared to local rivals in China.
Combined with the lack of 5G, this makes the new iPhones ‘less attractive and future-proof’ for Chinese consumers, he added.
Mr Shah forecasts that Apple will sell 30–35 million iPhones in China this year, down from 63 million phones in 2015.
However, other analysts said that Apple’s decision to lower the entry price for the new iPhone, one of the most discussed topics on Weibo on September 10, was a positive sign.
‘We think the lower iPhone 11 price point and trade-in program will help promote upgrades, specifically in China, while the Apple Arcade and TV+ offerings will hep accelerate services growth,’ said CFRA analyst Angelo Zino.
The new iPhones will be available to order on September 13 and will begin shipping on September 20.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: HARDWARE
iPhone Pro and Pro Max:
- Comes with 5.8 or 6.5-inch display
- Start at $1,749 for Pro, $1,899 for Pro Max
- Runs on A13 Bionic Chip
- Three cameras: Wide, Ultra-wide, Telephoto
- Pre-orders begin on September 13, start shipping Sept 20
- Will be available with 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage
- Comes in midnight green, space gray, silver, and gold
- Has 6.1-inch display, starts at $1,199
- Runs on A13 Bionic chip
- Dual-camera system
- Pre-orders begin 10pm AEST on Friday, Sept. 13, start shipping Sept. 20
- Available with 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage
- Will come in six colors: purple, green, yellow, black, white and Product(Red)
- 10.2-inch Retina Display
- Uses A10 fusion chip
- Available with WiFi capability for around $480
- Comes in silver, space gray and gold finishes with 32GB and 128GB storage
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