Apple (AAPL.O) on Tuesday is expected to unveil a new iPhone 15 lineup as questions about market access in China and competition hang over the world’s most valuable listed company.
The iPhone made up more than half of Apple’s $394.3 billion in sales last year, but it faces new challenges with selling in China, the Cupertino, California firm’s third-largest market.
Apple’s latest phones are expected to have new charging ports, titanium cases and cameras, but their debut at its Apple Park headquarters at 10 a.m. PT (1700 GMT) will come as the Chinese government has expanded some restrictions on using iPhones.
Apple will also have to grapple with competition from Huawei Technologies (HWT.UL), which was its top rival in China’s premium smartphone market until U.S. export controls ruined Huawei’s phone business in 2019. Last week, Huawei started selling the Mate 60 Pro, a high-end phone that uses Chinese-made chips that some U.S. lawmakers believe were manufactured in violation of U.S. trade curbs.
Huawei wants to gain an edge on Apple with add-on features like satellite calling that relies on China’s government-backed network. Apple’s current iPhone lineup includes satellite capabilities, though they are meant only for emergency situations.
Apple on Tuesday is likely to focus on its new product lineup. By far the biggest change for most Apple customers will be a switch from Apple’s propriety “Lightning” charging cables to USB-C, a standard that Apple already uses on its laptops and some high-end iPads.
Apple was forced into the change by European regulations, but analysts believe that the company will position the change as an upgrade, taking advantage of faster data speeds that can transfer high-quality videos made with iPhones.