Apple Inc. is planning to release three new iPhone models again this fall, including a successor to the struggling XR, the lower priced 2018 device with a liquid-crystal display that has fallen short of Apple’s sales expectations,The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Apple plans to introduce some new camera features, including a triple rear camera for the highest-end model and a double rear camera for the two other models, the people said.
The plan to stick with LCD comes as Apple grapples with sluggish sales of the iPhone XR, which has cut into its most recent revenue projection. That is partly because the planned LCD handset has been in the product pipeline for months and the plan can’t be altered easily, they said.
For 2020, Apple is considering dropping the LCD model, some of the people said, which would mark a complete shift to the organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, display for iPhones. The OLED displays on current XS models are considered to provide better contrast than the less expensive LCD displays on the XR and earlier iPhones such as the 7 and 8 models.
While product planning for 2019 models has progressed to a point where major features can’t be changed easily, the planning isn’t completed, the people said. Planning for 2020 models is at an earlier stage and more subject to revision, they said.
Apple’s innovation around iPhones and its lineup strategy, including pricing, are key to grabbing consumers as the number of handsets Apple sells stagnates globally. In China, which Chief Executive Tim Cook singled out as the major source of its revenue-forecast cutin a letter to investors last week, Apple has been facing fierce competition from local handset makers. Apple earns around 20% of its total revenue in Greater China.
Apple declined to comment.
In the fall, Apple plans to offer two models with the OLED display and one model with LCD, people familiar with the matter said. In 2018, Apple introduced two OLED-screen models, the iPhone XS Max and XS, and the LCD-display XR, which was priced at least 25% less than the other two models.
Apple is planning to do some catching up to rivals on rear cameras. It is considering introducing a triple-rear-camera system to its 2019 flagship model, which would succeed the iPhone XS Max, the people said. That would be an upgrade from the iPhone XS Max’s dual-rear-camera system.
Meanwhile the LCD model is likely to be upgraded to a dual-camera system from the single camera on the rear of the XR, they said.
The camera upgrades could help Apple win the hearts win the hearts of more consumers keen on taking good photos with smartphones, including in China.