As the company seeks to fill a broader portion of the worldwide smartphone market before its 5G phones later in 2020, Apple Inc. suppliers reportedly intend to start putting together a new low-cost iPhone next month. The technology firm is forecast to unveil the phone officially as soon as March, Bloomberg reported.
The assembly work for the new phone will reportedly be divided between Wistron Corp., Pegatron Corp., and Hon Hai Precision Industry.
The new device is believed to possess Touch ID in its home button, which would make use of technology that Apple already has in lieu of choosing a fingerprint sensor that is in the display similar to most Android competitors. It will have the same processor as the iPhone 11, Apple’s current flagship device, but will not have the Face ID biometric authentication.
The phone would be the first lower-cost version of the iPhone as of the iPhone SE. It will have a 4.7-inch display and have a similar appearance to 2017’s iPhone 8. A less expensive offering could help the tech company better contend with fast-growing and price-competitive emerging markets, especially India. The country is overrun by Android competitors, which are priced at under $200.
In separate news, a report surfaced earlier in January that there was an 18 percent jump in iPhone sales in China last month. The company shipped about 3.2 million smartphones in the country that month, up from 2.7 million the prior year. Apple saw a dip in sales after a peak in 2015, when the company saw increased rivalry from competitors and longer upgrade cycles.
Huawei Technologies has been particularly successful in the country, and in the third quarter of 2019, it accounted for 43 percent of all phone shipments. The company has also seen pressure from Washington over the security of its technology, as all big firms in China are government-regulated.