Despite the general hoo-ha over the fancier, more premium variants in the iPhone range, the ones that invariably do well are the “affordable” versions—such as the iPhone 11 and the iPhone XR. But still, the last iPhone to be released that was actually affordable was the iPhone 11 SE—launched in Malaysia for just under RM2,000 for the base model. The iPhone 11, on the other hand, starts at over RM3,000.
Now, a report from Bloomberg suggests that a new “low-cost” iPhone is in the works. Apple’s plan with the successor to the iPhone SE is to grab a wider share of the global smartphone market just before they release their first 5G smartphones later in 2020. In emerging markets, including India, Apple is being severely undercut by many Android-based smartphone companies—Xiaomi and Vivo immediately spring to mind.
The new iPhone will reportedly look similar to the iPhone 8, launched in 2017, and will also feature a small screen by today’s standards—4.7 inches. We could also see a Touch ID built in to an actual home button, which means that we won’t see Face ID on the new iPhone. Interestingly, the report also says that the new iPhone will be powered by the same processor as the iPhone 11.
According to sources, Apple’s suppliers will begin the assembly of the new iPhone in February, with the model to be announced in March of this year. This will mark Astro’s first foray into the upper-midrange market for some time now, with the iPhone SE the last smartphone that was actually affordable.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of the upcoming iPhone, which might be called the iPhone SE 2 or the iPhone 9 (pure speculation, at the present). Leaks have already surfaced, with the images below uploaded by reliable leakster, @OnLeaks:
Based on the price of the iPhone SE, we’re expecting the new budget compact iPhone to hover around the RM2,500 price range. Currently, the base model iPhone 8 with 64GB is priced at RM2,199, and the iPhone XR 64GB is still listed at RM2,899.
The upcoming compact iPhone could be an “iPhone 11” in the body of an iPhone 8 body—the iPhone SE was basically packing iPhone 6s hardware in an iPhone 5s shell. Regardless, a budget iPhone is certainly overdue. Plus, a 4.7″ display coupled with a flagship processor might appeal to a certain niche in the market for a compact, yet powerful smartphone.