Apple (AAPL) - Get Report is set to roll out a new, lower-cost iPhone as the company looks to retain a competitive edge in the global smartphone marketplace, particularly against Android-enabled devices, with its suppliers already prepping to begin production.
Citing people familiar with the company’s plans, Bloomberg reported that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s suppliers and manufacturers have received plans for the new lower-cost model, and will begin assembling it starting next month.
The new iPhone could be officially unveiled as early as March, a person familiar with its road map told Bloomberg. The assembly work for the new handset will be split among Hon Hai Precision Industry, Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp., the people added.
The first lower-priced model since the iPhone SE, the new model will look similar to the iPhone 8 from 2017 and include a 4.7-inch screen, according to previous reports. The iPhone 8 is still on the market, currently selling for $449, whereas Apple sold the iPhone SE for $399 when that handset launched in 2016.
The new phone is expected to have Touch ID built into the home button, reusing an established Apple technology instead of opting for an in-display fingerprint sensor like many Android-based rivals. It will not have Apple’s Face ID biometric authentication, but it will feature the same processor as Apple’s current flagship device, the iPhone 11.
Apple is planning a slew of new high-end iPhones for release later in 2020 that include 5G connectivity, faster processors, and new 3-D cameras on the back, Bloomberg and others have reported.
Shares of Apple were up 0.34% at $317.66 in morning trading on Wednesday.