by Stephen Nellis
CUPERTINO, California (Reuters) – Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone 15 lineup on Tuesday as questions over market access in China and competition loom over the world’s most valuable listed company.
The iPhone accounted for more than half of Apple’s $394.3 billion in sales last year, but it faces new challenges with sales in China, the Cupertino, California firm’s third-largest market.
Apple’s latest phones are expected to have new charging ports, titanium cases and cameras, but their debut at Apple Park headquarters will be held at 10 a.m. PT (1700 GMT) as the Chinese government extends some restrictions on iPhone use.
Apple will also have to contend with competition from Huawei Technologies, which was its top rival in China’s premium smartphone market until US export controls ruined Huawei’s phone business in 2019. Last week, Huawei started selling the Mate 60 Pro, which is a high-end phone. Uses Chinese-made chips, which some US lawmakers believe were manufactured in violation of US trade sanctions.
Huawei is looking to gain an edge over Apple with add-on features like satellite calling that rely on China’s government-backed networks. Apple’s current iPhone lineup includes satellite capabilities, although they are only for emergency situations.
Apple may focus on its new product lineup on Tuesday. The biggest change so far for most Apple customers will be the switch from Apple’s proprietary “Lightning” charging cable to USB-C, a standard that Apple already uses on its laptops and some high-end iPads.
Apple was forced to make the change by European regulations, but analysts believe the company will introduce the change as an upgrade, taking advantage of the faster data speeds that enable higher quality video created with iPhones. Can transfer.
Analysts are also expecting a new “periscope” camera technology that could give the phone better zoom capabilities and a titanium case as well as advanced chips. Such “periscope” lenses can use mirrors or prisms to achieve a longer lens without significantly enlarging the camera module.
The biggest question of the day will be whether Apple reserves those features for new top-end devices and makes smaller upgrades to its cheaper models.
“Just as we’ve seen people who aren’t ultra athletes buy the Apple Watch Ultra, we’ll see a group of people who buy it, even if they’re not into cameras or photography, just because they The latest and greatest is the choice, said Ben Bajarin, chief executive and principal analyst at Creative Strategies. “That in itself creates excitement, momentum and attraction to the top end.”
Apple is expected to increase the average price per phone sold to increase its revenue, but the question is whether it does so by raising prices across the board or just on premium versions. The global smartphone market shrank from total shipments of 294.5 million phones in the second quarter to 268 million, according to Counterpoint Research data, but Apple’s shipments had the smallest decline of any major smartphone maker, falling to 46.5 million phones. It has decreased from 45.3 million to 45.3 million.
“The truth of the matter is that we are in a very steep decline in the smartphone market,” said Bob O’Donnell, head of Technalysis Research.
O’Donnell said he was looking for any indication about the technology trend behind applications such as Apple’s plans for what is known as Generative Artificial Intelligence, OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s “CoPilot” assistant technologies for its Office software. Will be on the lookout.
Analysts have repeatedly asked Apple about its plans for such 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 was part of its research. Increasing expenses.
O’Donnell said, “Will Apple introduce an enhanced form of Siri? That would be something that would generate some excitement.”
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in Cupertino, California; Editing by Peter Henderson and Lisa Shumaker)