Newest iPhone could have big screen and big price


Thu, Sep 13, 2018 - Page 10

Apple Inc was expected to blast further past the US$1,000 price barrier when it launched new iPhones yesterday, but Wall Street is most intrigued by how deep into its price hikes will go.

The company needs to sustain revenue growth from its signature product, even as global demand for smartphones plateaus. One way to do that is to get people to buy more expensive phones.

“There’s no real game changer on the table,” Capital Investment Counsel chief economist Hal Eddins said. “It’s a matter of getting people to keep moving up.”

An expected phone model with a 6.1-inch display, potentially called the iPhone 9, has intrigued analysts most.

The big display is expected to use lower-cost LCD technology, but look more like last year’s iPhone X than the iPhone 8, which itself looked similar to phones going back to 2014’s iPhone 6.

The fresher profile could help lure price-conscious customers with older phones into an upgrade, Eddins said.

Rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has a few models that cost nearly as much as Apple models, but the bulk of its lineup, like that of other phone makers, consists of cheaper models.

“Apple has never competed on price,” said Josh Blechman, director of capital markets at Exponential ETFs, which holds Apple shares in its exchange traded fund.

In addition to new models, Apple was also expected to unveil a gold-color option for the two new OLED-screened phones, a new version of its wireless Airpod earbuds with wireless charging and a new version of its Apple Watch with a bigger display.

It was also expected to release a wireless charging mat that would be able to charge several devices at once.