Apple is inching towards a new smartphone launch that could appeal to shoppers on a budget, according to a new report.
The tech giant will launch a new midrange smartphone in 2020 to attack Samsung and Huawei, the Nikkei is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of its plans. The model could be similar, if not a direct follow-up to the iPhone SE Apple released in 2016 but discontinued last year.
Ultimately, Apple found that the iPhone SE wasn't nearly as popular as it might have hoped. And although it was priced at a more affordable $399 when it launched, it failed to capture the kind of international appeal the company wanted. According to the Nikkei's own estimates, Apple sold about 40 million iPhone SE units over the more than two years it was on store shelves.
Tackling the midrange market could make sense for Apple, which has been struggling to keep its lofty iPhone sales afloat. Consumers are increasingly keeping their phones for longer and have been loath to spend $1,000 or more on a new smartphone. The iPhone SE follow-up could attract shoppers who are on a budget and otherwise help Apple stem some of the sales declines the company is apparently experiencing in the higher end of the market.
In terms of features, the iPhone SE appears to be a decidedly midrange device. According to the Nikkei, it'll feature a 4.7-inch LCD display but come with similar components to those that will make their way to this year's flagship iPhone 11 devices. We're assuming this would include a fast A13 processor and at least some of Apple's camera upgrades.
It's unclear from the report exactly when the new iPhone will launch and how much it'll cost. However, speculation abounds that the device could hit store shelves in early 2020.
But like anything else in Apple's universe, take this one with the proverbial grain of salt. The notoriously secretive Apple changes its plans all the time, so the iPhone SE 2 might not happen.