Apple (AAPL) - Get Report is planning to release a new low-cost iPhone next April as it seeks to stem declining market share in developing markets such as China and India, the Nikkei Asian Review reported early on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
It would be the first low-cost iPhone since 2016, when Apple released the iPhone SE that started at $399.The lower-priced iPhone's size would be similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and feature liquid crystal display (LCD) screens rather than the pricier OLED screens on higher-end iPhones, according to the Nikkei's sources. The new phone hasn't yet been named or priced, according to the Nikkei report.
Shares of Apple were rising 0.90% to $207.63 Wednesday morning, roughly in line with the broader market's up-move.
Apple has lost market share in recent years in Asia in the face of heightened competition from local competitors making cheaper full-featured smartphones, including Chinese makers Huawei and Xiaomi and South Korea's Samsung (SSNLF) . To boost sales, Apple cut prices on its highest-end phones and also launched aggressive trade-in programs. However, this summer, Apple still slipped to the No. 3 position among smartphone makers behind Huawei and Samsung.
Apple's share of global smartphone unit sales was 11.8% in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 19.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The China region is especially important for Apple, representing roughly 20% of Apple's iPhone revenue.
For 2019, Apple is expected to see iPhone unit sales decline by 15%, according to FactSet. In 2020 that decline is expected to be 0.6%, followed by an increase in 2021 of 2.9%.
Apple is set to launch its more new advanced set of iPhone 11's at its event on Sept. 10. Those are the iPhone 11 at $749, the iPhone 11 Pro at $999 and the iPhone 11 Pro Max at $1,099. The new iPhones could experience stronger-than-expected sales due to a healthy amount of pent-up demand, according to one analyst.
Apple is also facing some tariff headwinds in the U.S. for other hardware products such as the Apple Watch. Tariffs set to go into effect December 15 would impact iPhone sales in the U.S.