HANGZHOU: Apple Inc’s new, lower-priced iPhone that comes with a faster processor but lacks 5G technology disappointed Asia, where cheaper and feature-packed handsets from rivals are already available.
The iPhone 11, which was launched on Tuesday for $50 less than last year’s base XR model did not impress the social media users in Asian markets which are dominated by Huawei Technologies and Samsung Electronics.
Lowering the entry price point, a rare move from Apple, was likely an effort to attract buyers in China, where Apple has ceded a lot of market share to Huawei due to a surge in support from patriotic Chinese consumers amidst the US-China trade standoff.
Despite the reduction, the iPhone 11, and even the higher-end models with more camera lenses, are set to come up short in Asia.
Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Seoul-based Cape Investment & Securities, said, “Apple’s new phones were no surprise at all. Only tangible change is having an additional camera on their premium model.”
He added, “However, it is noticeable that Apple has made a price cut for the newest iPhone for about $50, which is a very rare move for the company. The move might be aiming to manage and reduce potential risks drawn by the US-China trade war.”
The iPhone 11 will have two back cameras and is priced starting at $699, down from $749 for the XR last year. On Tuesday, Apple also dropped the price of the XR by $150.
The more expensive iPhone 11 Pro will have three cameras on the back and starts at $999. The bigger screen iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099.
A user on the Chinese social media platform, Weibo said, “Since we still have to wait a year for 5G, why not just buy Huawei on Monday,” adding that Huawei and smaller rival Vivo have already released 5G models in China, and Samsung in South Korea.
A meme doing the rounds on Chinese social media featured Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook bragging about the new features and Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, shutting him down by pointing out that Huawei has had those features for years.
Similarly, a user on South Korea’s never.com web portal commented, “Apple just added one more camera lens and called it a new feature, meanwhile it is still too pricey.”