Phone product strategy has generally been straightforward: Each year it introduces new iPhones to serve as its flagships, and it discounts older models in a bid to attack lower price points.
Apple altered the playbook slightly with its most recent product introductions. While it discounted the more mainstream iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, it eliminated the iPhone X from its lineup. That move made sense, as the iPhone X simply wouldn’t have fit in the company’s current official product stack. (Production of the iPhone X was reportedly restarted, although Apple doesn’t offer the iPhone X through its own website or stores.)
Now, according to a report from Economic Daily News (via MacRumors), which itself cites a report from analysts with Fubon Securities Investment Trust, Apple is adding another twist to its midrange product strategy. Let’s take a closer look.
Shades of the iPhone SE
If Apple follows its usual plan, then when the company releases its latest iPhones later this year, it should have replacements for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR available for sale. The current iPhone XR — which starts at $749 — should see a price reduction to serve as the company’s mainstream product. Then at the very bottom of the stack should be Apple’s iPhone 8 and, possibly, iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are likely to be discontinued.
Interestingly, the aforementioned report from Economic Daily News claims that in March of 2020, Apple will roll out a dramatically upgraded version of the iPhone 8. This phone will apparently come with what will be Apple’s best chip, the A13, and even come with a baseline of 128 GB of storage. This device will reportedly start at $649.
Put simply, the device would be to Apple’s product lineup at launch what the iPhone SE was when it launched in March of 2016: a device with an older form factor packed with the company’s latest chip technology.