Quick Followup: Apple

Mark Hibben on Seeking Alpha offers an analysis of Apple’s new products that makes a claim about strategy: that Apple is offering down-market alternatives, I would claim in the face of new and potential competition from rivals (Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Huawei are the “Big Four” among domestics).

It’s possible that sales of the XS are lagging XS Max because there’s a lower cost alternative to the XS waiting in the wings, the iPhone XR. The XR has about the same size screen, but uses lower resolution LCD technology. It has most of the desirable features of the XS, however, including an edge to edge screen, the TrueDepth 3D sensor for FaceID, and the Apple A12 processor. The XR lacks the dual camera system of the XS, however, but still enables Portrait Mode.

To quote, selectively – go to his post, Apple: Where No iPhone Has Gone Before, on Seeking Alpha for details.

Up until now, Apple’s approach to offering more affordable iPhones was based on selling previous generation iPhones…

I’ve always objected to this approach. I have argued that Apple needed to offer a selection of new iPhones that address a range of price points. For instance, automakers don’t just make a single high-end model car, and then rely on previous generations of that model to address lower price points.

Hibben elaborates on this, and details the new features, visible (display) and not (chipset). However, as I look at it, this is still an incomplete response, because it’s a narrow range of features. Then again, since I’ve not been in the market for a new phone in some time, maybe they are now a commoditized product where base features are the same for everyone. Still, is Apple leaving itself open to disruption?

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