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Is Apple Planning an iPhone SE-type Budget Phone for the Chinese Market?

A Chinese site called Caijing has claimed that Apple is working on a new device meant exclusively for the Chinese market that could be a frills-free smartphone at lower price points. The argument being put forward is that the company has been steadily losing out on market share in China to the Chinese brands, primarily on the price factor.

Remove Some Features; Bring Down the Costs

The challenge before Apple is that it has been pricing its models high since it packs them with some special proprietary technologies that naturally cost more. This new report claims that the model that Apple will now develop may do away with features like the Face ID and instead provide a fingerprint sensor below the display. Some other such features may also be closely looked at.

Apple wants to keep the cost of production of its products down and this is a widely known factor. In fact, there are reports that the company is shifting the production of its MacBook Pros to China. This is being done to control the cost of shipping the components from China to the US or elsewhere for assembling. In any case, the majority of the components are supplied by Chinese companies.

Price of iPhones the Most Critical Factor

If Apple had any doubts that it was down to being the 4th or 5th brand in the Chinese market with just a 9% share, it is due to the price of its smartphones. Apple has got the confirmation about this fact through an online poll. The overwhelming opinion of those who participated in this poll conveyed that it was the price that was deterring them from buying Apple’s products. Other studies have revealed that if Apple could fix the price of its phone at below the CNY 5,000 mark, maybe CNY 4,000 even, then it can possibly hope to regain the market. This is what is being predicted now.

All these do not amount to the phone being in the same league as the iPhone SE. It might sport a larger display. Assuming that these do materialize, Apple needs to keep in view that its brand should not be bracketed with the run of the mill Chinese brands.

Apple has not issued any official reaction to this report.

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