Apple is expected to unveil a new-generation iPhone in the Steve Jobs Theatre at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
Apple is expected to introduce three upgraded iPhones and a successor to its more affordable iPhone XR at its product launch event in Cupertino, California overnight.
The much anticipated unveiling was set to begin at 10am Tuesday local time (4am Wednesday local time).
The September 10 (US time) launch date could mean the new iPhone models will be in-store as soon as Friday, September 20.
The tech giant is looking to hold its share of the premium smartphone market where prices are hovering around $1000.
Apple is set to unveil three new iPhone models that are so similar to last year’s lineup, they may be upstaged by details about the company’s upcoming video service. Picture: APSource:AP
But services, subscriptions and online content will likely share the stage with the company’s glitzy hardware as Apple seeks to shift its focus away from a smartphone market, which is showing little growth.
Apple recently released a smartphone-generation credit card in the US and is keen to launch its TV+ streaming service before Disney goes live with a rival service in November.
They unveiled streaming video plans along with news and game subscription offerings as part of an effort to shift its focus to digital content and services to break free of its reliance on iPhone sales.
The company also plans to launch a new game subscription service called Apple Arcade by the end of this year.
Apple managed to grow its overall revenues, albeit by a modest one per cent, to US$53.8 billion, even as iPhone revenues plunged nearly 12 per cent in the April-June period.
The company delivered strong growth from digital content and services that include its Apple Pay and Apple Music, along with wearables and accessories like the Apple Watch and Air Pods.
Analysts warn that Apple still faces challenges as rivals chip away at the smartphone market, in which the iPhone’s share is less than 12 per cent.
As the iPhone maker refines its handsets, other makers are pushing into new areas such as 5G devices and folding smartphones.
About a third of the 900 million iPhone users around the world are in an upgrade “window”, meaning a strong potential for handset sales, according to Ives.
International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast that this will remain a challenging year for iPhone sales, mostly due to a mature market and lack of handsets tailored for budding 5G telecom networks.
IDC expected Apple to hit the market with 5G iPhones next year, and have an edge due to a better understanding of the market.
China accounts for about 17 per cent of Apple sales overall, and has tremendous room for growth, according to Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart.
The trade war between the US and China has complicated Apple’s effort to gain ground in that market, where gains by local titan Huawei have come partly at the California-based company’s expense.