Apple has gone small - cutting prices as well as screen size - unveiling a new iPhone and iPad aimed at first-time buyers and customers in emerging markets.
A new iPhone SE will debut at $399 for US customers without a contract subsidy, a significant cut from the price of Apple’s larger iPhones.
Apple sold 30 million of its other small-screen iPhones in 2015, company vice president Greg Joswiak said, showing that many customers like the compact size - despite the trend toward bigger displays.
“Some people really love smaller phones,” Joswiak told the low-key event at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, unveiling the aluminum handset with upgraded specifications and other features including Apple Pay.
“In some countries like China, for a majority of these customers, it is their first iPhone.”
The new iPhone model has strong potential in international markets beyond China, particularly in India, according to Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin.
Even though the price tag is higher than low-cost Android handsets that dominate the market, it puts the cherished Apple brand within better reach to people in developing economies.
The iPhone SE will be aimed at first-time Apple buyers and those who want to upgrade from the iPhone 5S and 5C, which have not been updated in over two years. The iPhone 6S, the lowest-cost handset in the large-screen family, starts at $649.
Also unveiled at the event was a new iPad Pro that moves smaller -- a 9.7-inch (24.6-centimeter) display compared with the 12.9-inch (32.8-centimeter) model on the original business-geared tablet.
“It is a large enough display to get all your work done, but easy to carry around,” said Apple vice president Phil Schiller.
The smaller, new iPad starts at $599 for US customers, down from around $800 for the original.
Apple took direct aim at Windows-powered personal computers, noting the large number of machines that are five or more years old but still in use.
The iPad Pro has always been aimed at the business market, but “this is the first I have heard Apple say they were going after the PC crowd,” Bajarin said.
Apple will be taking orders Thursday for the new phone and tablet, with deliveries set for March 31, in the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore, with more markets to be added in April.