As smartphone sales recently witnessed their worst half-year performance in the Chinese market in years, US tech company Apple Inc. launched its latest iPhone 14 lineup and smartwatches without raising prices over previous models, thus upping the ante amid high-end handset competition with rivals like China’s Huawei Technologies.
At its annual September event at its headquarters in California as well as online, the company unveiled its iPhone 14 series featuring upgraded chips, batteries, and camera functionality, boasting a new design called “dynamic island”.
While many industry analysts had expected the price of the new iPhones to be at least $100 more than the year’s previous models, the new handset starts at $799, with the iPhone 14 Plus priced at $899, unchanged from the previous 13-series. The company also dropped the cheapest iPhone Mini version.
“Apple is pricing cautiously as consumers have become more price-sensitive due to the soaring cost of living amid global inflation. Such tighter budgets force consumers to skew their spending more toward necessities,” said Joshua Warner, senior analyst at Gain Capital.
In the Chinese market, smartphone sales stood at 134 million in the first half, down 16.9 percent year-on-year, which was the worst half-year sales performance since 2015, according to market consultancy CINNO Research.