Apple Inc on Tuesday unveiled its iPhone 11 models with a price cut for the most basic models, while also laying out plans for streaming and gaming services as it bids to weather a slump in the global smartphone market.
Price appeared to be a key consideration as the technology giant reduced the entry-level price for the iPhone 11 to US$699, and undercut its rivals for gaming and streaming TV subscriptions.
Apple unveiled three versions of the iPhone 11, including “Pro” models with a triple camera and other advanced features starting at US$999 and US$1,099, unchanged from last year’s prices, touting upgraded features including ultra-wide camera lenses.
The surprise from Apple was the reduction in the starting price at US$699, down from US$749 for the iPhone XR a year ago, even as many premium devices are being priced at about US$1,000.
The new iPhones are “jam-packed with new capabilities and an incredible new design,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook told a launch event in Cupertino, California, as the company set out its plan to sell the new handsets on Friday next week.
In Taiwan, the iPhone 11 is to start at NT$24,900 (US$798) for a 64GB model, NT$2,000 cheaper than the iPhone XR, Apple’s Taiwanese Web site showed.
The OLED iPhone 11 Pro, featuring the new triple camera, is to have an initial price of NT$35,900 for a 64GB model and the bigger OLED iPhone 11 Pro Max has a starting price of NT$39,900, it said.
The most expensive model is the OLED iPhone 11 Pro Max with 512GB storage, which is priced at NT$52,400.
Taiwanese consumers can preorder the phones at Apple’s online retail store from 8pm tomorrow before the latest models go on sale on Friday next week.
Apple’s announcements appeared to be aimed at emphasizing value as the company looks to shift its business model to reduce its dependence on smartphones, and tie in digital content and other services to its devices.
“We got a stream of nonstop product launches, with content being used as a sweetener,” Techsponential analyst and consultant Avi Greengart said. “I think the iPhone 11 is compelling and may convince people to upgrade earlier than they might have otherwise, given the lower price and longer battery life, not just an improved camera.”
The Apple TV+ service is to launch on Nov. 1 in more than 100 nations at Us$4.99 a month and is to include a “powerful and inspiring lineup of original shows, movies and documentaries,” the company said.
While Apple’s streaming service is to have limited content at first, its price is below the US$6.99 for the forthcoming Disney+ service and the more expensive plans from Netflix Inc.
Apple is featuring scripted dramas, comedies and movies, as well as children’s programs in the service, which is set to compete against streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon.com Inc.
“With Apple TV+, we are presenting all-original stories from the best, brightest and most creative minds, and we know viewers will find their new favorite show or movie on our service,” Apple head of video Zack van Amburg said.
Apple said that customers who purchase an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac are to get the first year of the service for free.
The company’s online gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade, is to launch next week, offering exclusive titles for mobile and desktop users.
The new service, which is also to cost US$4.99 a month, or NT$170 a month in Taiwan, is to include more than 100 games made for Apple devices and is to be available in 150 nations.
“You can’t find these games on any other mobile platform or subscription service. No game service ever launched as many games and we can’t wait for you to play all of that,” Apple product manager Ann Thai said.
Apple also unveiled updates to its iPad tablet and Apple Watch, also emphasizing stable or lower prices.
The company’s shares closed the day up slightly at US$216.70, while the shares of streaming TV rivals Netflix and Walt Disney Co both finished down about 2 percent.
Additional reporting by CNA
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