Thursday , March 23 2023

Why Apple will only make one phone this year: the iPhone 11R


2018 iPhone XR was a surprise success. Expect big changes with the 11R's camera

Getty Images / T3 Magazine / Contributor

When Apple launches its next series of iPhones, it is likely to be another trio, the iPhone 11, 11R and 11 Max, and we expect them to be released by September 20th. The dynamic family for 2019 will go into 2020. Predictably similar to the current lineup, with one standard flagship, one supersection option and one cheaper model. But is this really the best idea?

Apple recently dropped from the top three smartphone makers by market share, after falling 15 percent in sales, year-over-year. Unless there is a big surprise in its launch line, its approach to this decline seems to be to simply endure and hope that sales in China and elsewhere will improve.

The company also stopped announcing iPhone sales as part of its winning calls in 2018, an attempt to counter the headlines and soften the falling price that it knew they were coming for. We only know about the fall in sales due to the work of analytics firms, IHS Markit in this case. Such analysts predict further falls for Apple. Rosenblatt Securities only reduced Apple's share quality as a result.

Is there a better way forward?

Apple's approach to mobile phone launches is fast becoming the norm. OnePlus and Honor introduced “Pro” models this year, pushing their phones ’highest prices higher than they ever were. Samsung has just completed its flagship lineup with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, as well as the smaller Note 10.

Creating a larger number of high-priced phones is looking to normalize paying more for a wider audience, which may have considered spending so much obscene just a few years ago. And all thanks to the magical perceptual effect of relative value.

Let's try a thoughtful exercise: a future where Apple will release one major iPhone model in 2019 instead of three. And it's closer to the iPhone XR than the iPhone XS Max, a slightly more affordable phone that will stay well below £ 1,000 for the basic specifications.

The first argument for this is simple. Apple's iPhone XR is very popular.

"The iPhone XR was a little more successful than I expected," says Daniel Gleeson, Ovum's smartphone analyst. "The big factors that helped the XR were its position relative to other iPhone devices – the iPhone X was withdrawn, which pushed many people who would have bought the cheaper iPhone to the XR. Apple's pricing strategy with the XS and XS Max also utilizes the XR to look great; although it is still one of the most expensive phones available. "

According to a recent CIPR report, the iPhone XR was responsible for 48 percent of iPhone sales on Day 2 of 2019. And that doesn't come from three, but all seven iPhone models sold by Apple today. The iPhone XR dominates iPhone sales in the United States.

The point of view is not so different globally. "On average over the last six to seven months, almost one in three iPhones sold is the iPhone XR model according to our Global Smartphone Model Sales Tracker," says Neil Shah of Counterpoint Research. "This model is one of the most profitable models for Apple, considering it uses an LCD screen, an aluminum frame and a single camera module."

For those not obsessed with technology, the iPhone XR is a slightly more affordable "new" iPhone. And for the enthusiast it is just as powerful as the iPhone XS Max, but lasts longer between charges and costs less. These same phrases understand a problem with the "single iPhone" concept. Will an iPhone 11R look so good if there are no more expensive iPhones to compare it to?

This is why our lonely iPhone 11R needs a more distinct identity than any iPhone has years ago. If Apple could find a way to successfully market this hypothetical phone as a newly affordable flagship, and the only big-name phone that offers anything close to solid privacy, it could be considered the most, or even just, "for-people" phone. .

The "for-people" concept will not win any marketing awards. Both Samsung and Huawei have used the label "made for people" in the past, and that almost made us root for a hospital bed. But there is something here behind the still-written slogan.

These are the best smartphones in 2019

What would happen if Apple managed to recreate the perception of value that the iPhone XR currently benefits from, but in the context of a wider cast of phones, including Androids? The market is currently awake with £ 900- and flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ and the Huawei P30 Pro. This seems like the one clear way to restart a newly created project, converting Android owners and convincing the unconvinced.

Price is becoming a route for this largely because Apple is no longer very competitive in design. It is happy to sell phones that look and look quite old, and have chosen not to adopt screen curves, folding designs or motorized cameras.

These choices are not necessarily wrong. It is easy to argue that they are not even a good idea or not desirable enough. But Apple's recent progress risks looking like stasis. We are already drowning in flags with soaked technology, and their key features often go against what the buyer will actually like or ask for.

Apple's previous successes are partly determined to choose the right paths at the right time. And a slightly more inexpensive flagship that makes a brassy argument about privacy may not be a bad thing today. Apple has a more compelling argument for its privacy policies than any other major phone company. Google says it cares, but almost all the money it relies on has to exploit and mine your data.

Privacy and genuinely careful action on the use of user data seems difficult to sell, even if it changes the results of elections across the West. But our iPhone 11R would let Apple sell this as part of the personality of the phone, not just a side note to the usual tea towel, as highlighted today in Apple releases.

Apple has a habit of making people care or believe in things. It did this for the mobile, the smartwatch and the tablet. All of these items existed before Apple, but it mattered to ordinary people. Just don't mention that for Apple's good work to have an impact on your life, you also have to give up Google, Facebook, other social media and Amazon services.

Maybe the standalone iPhone 11R is the stuff of food. But consider this as a last argument: According to (reportedly) a survey of 2,000 people refurbishing a Decluttr site, less than 50 percent of iPhone owners even know which model they own.

But what will we see in September? We have a similar arrangement today, but with no more Roman numerals, thank God. "Apple will want to keep the R models a bit different in terms of camera module, build quality and some minor aspects, but still resemble the flagship S-series, thus requiring perhaps a slightly higher price than last year," Shah says.

Recent leaks of the three phones together make them seem even closer, visually, than the current iPhones. The layout of the room is the obvious change. The 2019 iPhones will have a round-shaped square in the back that houses the cameras. It looks similar to the design of Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

A closer look at the leaks suggests that the iPhone 11R will have two rear cameras, "normal" and zoom. And that the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max will have three. These leaked images may be fake prototypes from China, but Daniel Gleeson agrees with his findings.

"The 11R will only have a dual lens, though – most likely the same camera unit currently on the XS and XS Max," he says. “The scale production already achieved will help reduce costs even further. The main XR saving is using LCD panels instead of OLED, and I fully expect this to last for the iPhone 11 and 11R. "

The one feature iPhone 11Rs miss is an ultra-wide camera. These have been used on phones for years. LG used them back in 2016, on phones like the LG V20 and LG G5. And Huawei uses one with great impact on the Huawei P30 Pro.

Apple's ultra-wide camera will definitely please. Surely it will have a much better sensor and lens than most other androids with similar layouts, and is a real plus for creative photography.

However, it may not have such a dramatic effect, as Apple has realized that it is appealing to manufacturers of Android phones at a high price, and that it can charm the lot if it wants to. Apple doesn't even need to beat Samsung's prices. Cost equality would make a more effective statement than any feature Apple could come up with in 2019, and it could play a major role in the long-term, strategic push to get more people joining their services like Apple TV +.

Apple needs to find a new direction to start looking like the leader in smartphones again, and one choice is right in front of it.

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