Apple is back at it again this year to set the stage on fire with the slew of products but headlining today’s event will be the iPhone. Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, will take the centre stage to dispel the forewarnings analysts have been pinning on the company’s future in the hardware business. But more than what is being speculated for Apple’s tumbling share in the smartphone market, the company’s relentless push in the software business shows the shift in the revenue streams. Moreover, in what may pose as the biggest challenge for Apple, Samsung and Huawei, the companies running in the global forefront, already have smartphones that support the next generation 5G wireless communication technology. Apple, on the other hand, is reported to come up with its first batch of 5G iPhone models in 2020.
According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) report released on Monday, Apple may not be able to revive the tanking iPhone shipments owing to the possibility that there will not be a 5G iPhone from the company’s kitty this year. But, IDC sheds light on something that could noticeably be considered an edge that Apple has over its rivals – the understanding of the markets that recently rolled out 5G network. The sales of iPhone may pick up again after a 5G model enters the family next year, noted the report. But this does not make up for the forecast IDC has for Apple – a slip of 15 per cent in iPhone shipments to 177.9 million this year.
As many as three iPhone models, which are expected to be called iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11R, will be launched at today’s event. Moreover, Apple will refresh its non-smartphone portfolio with new versions of Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple TV, particularly, makes more sense for Apple as it is investing great dollops of money into entertainment business with its Apple TV+, which is said to counter Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ streaming platforms. Apple has signed bigwigs of Hollywood, including Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Momoa to star in original programmes, the first previews for which were launched at the WWDC in June this year.
The Wall Street analysts have not pinned many hopes on Apple for today’s event, largely because of the fact that there is no head-on competition from the Cupertino-based giant to enter what can be termed as the pinnacle of flagship smartphones – the 5G foldable phone. Moreover, Apple may have fewer surprises up its sleeve for today’s event, considering its major announcements were made back in June, such as Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade. Both the services are slated to come out sometime in November.
There is also a growing impedance in Apple’s course that may affect the iPhone pricing this time. The decline in the iPhone shipments has frequently been cited to the steep pricing of Apple’s smartphones. But with the trade impasse between US and China, Apple may need to absorb any overheads that may occur due to tight regulations. Analysts believe the iPhone pricing this year is going to be flat year-on-year, which could prove to be beneficial for Apple. The iPhone 11R, particularly, will be the cheapest of the lot and the one to look out for.
Stay tuned to FE Tech for live updates from Apple iPhone 11 event that starts at 10.30pm IST.