iPhone 8(+) Non-Plus 4.7" iPhone SE-esque iPhone 8 successor speculation in relation to the lineup

Yebubbleman

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May 20, 2010
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If this rumored phone to be launched in Spring 2020 does for the 4.7" iPhone 8 what the 2016 iPhone SE did for the iPhone 5s, what do you guys think will happen to the iPhone lineup?

Personally, my prediction is that it replaces the 4.7" iPhone 8 (and contains at least an A12 Bionic, if not an A13 Bionic to keep it in line with the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro) and remains sold at the same price points. The 4.7" iPhone 8 would then be discontinued as would the 5.5" iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone 8 Plus, very sadly, is sort of lopsided in the line-up right now in that it has a higher screen resolution and pixel density than the iPhone XR and non-Pro iPhone 11 and has a telephoto camera (which is only otherwise in the iPhone 11 Pro models). Much as I love that phone and the Plus iPhone form factor in general, I think this will be where it goes away for good.

So, my prediction is that the lineup will then be:

- iPhone SE (2nd Generation): 4.7" 1334x750 326ppi LCD display (akin to present iPhone 8 form factor) with A13 SoC, TouchID, wide lens - $449 (64GB); $499 (128GB); $599 (256GB)

- iPhone XR: 6.1" 1792x828 326ppi LCD display with A12 SoC, FaceID, wide lens - $599 (64GB); $649 (128GB)

- iPhone 11: 6.1" 1792x828 326ppi LCD display with A13 SoC, FaceID, wide and ultra wide lens - $699 (64GB); $749 (128GB); $849 (256GB)

- iPhone 11 Pro: 5.8" 2436x1125 458ppi OLED display with A13 SoC, FaceID, wide, ultra wide, and telephoto lens - $999 (64GB); $1149 (256GB); $1349 (512GB)

- iPhone 11 Pro Max: 6.5" 2688x1242 458ppi OLED display with A13 SoC, FaceID, wide, ultra wide, and telephoto lens - $1099 (64GB); $1249 (256GB); $1449 (512GB)

What do you all think will happen to the lineup if and when this new 4.7" iPhone 8 replacement is announced?
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
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My guess for the low-cost iPhone is A10 or A11 with 3GB for $349 or $399. No wireless charging, no 3D Touch. Same cameras as iPhone XR.

The XR still has plenty of sales potential left at $599 today and $499 next year. I don't think Apple will need to cannabalize iPhone XR sales by putting in A13 or even A12.

The iPhone 8 family also still has plenty of gas left, at least until Fall 2020, so I expect iPhone 8 to stay.
 

MF878

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2011
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Auckland, New Zealand
If you look at the first SE, they launched it in March 2016 at $399 for 16GB, which put it out of step with the rest of the lineup (16GB iPhone 6 with weaker chip and camera was $549). When the 7 came out, it remained at $399, the 6 was discontinued, and the 32GB 6s became the new $549 option. In other words, rather than launching it at $449/499 and doing a price drop six months later, they priced it where it would belong in the upcoming lineup.

If we assume the September 2020 lineup is this...

XR - $499 (price drop)
11 - $599 (price drop)
12 - $699 (new)
12 Pro - $999 (new)

...then I would guess that the new iPhone 8-based SE will get some minor spec bumps (probably to bring it in line with XR, so A12 chip and better single lens camera with portrait mode), and will launch in March 2020 at $399 for 64GB. Initially, that would make it $200 cheaper than the similarly specced XR, but in September that gap will shrink to a more logical $100.
 

MF878

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2011
269
137
Auckland, New Zealand
My guess for the low-cost iPhone is A10 or A11 with 3GB for $349 or $399. No wireless charging, no 3D Touch. Same cameras as iPhone XR.

The XR still has plenty of sales potential left at $599 today and $499 next year. I don't think Apple will need to cannabalize iPhone XR sales by putting in A13 or even A12.

The iPhone 8 family also still has plenty of gas left, at least until Fall 2020, so I expect iPhone 8 to stay.
Removing wireless charging and downgrading the chip to an A10 doesn’t seem necessary when the iPhone 8 is already being sold for $449. That’s basically an iPhone 7 which Apple was selling for $449 last year. An 8-based SE released in 2020 would likely be equal or better than the existing 8 in every way (except probably removing 3D Touch), just like how the SE was equal or better than the 5s in every way when it replaced it at the bottom of the lineup.
 
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JPack

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Mar 27, 2017
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Removing wireless charging and downgrading the chip to an A10 doesn’t seem necessary when the iPhone 8 is already being sold for $449. That’s basically an iPhone 7 which Apple was selling for $449 last year. An 8-based SE released in 2020 would likely be equal or better than the existing 8 in every way (except probably removing 3D Touch), just like how the SE was equal or better than the 5s in every way when it replaced it at the bottom of the lineup.
I’m viewing it from the lens of the recent iPad 10.2” launch and the pricing of competitor products. If Apple isn’t afraid to launch an A10 iPad in 2019, they might be willing to launch an iPhone with A10 or A11 in 2020.

Xiaomi sells their A3 for $200 with a 6.1” OLED display, triple camera, and in-display fingerprint sensor. I’m still not sure how Apple will compete in emerging markets with a 4.7” device. Perhaps they might be willing to drop the price to $299 or even $249 which I why I’m expecting low specs.
 

MF878

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2011
269
137
Auckland, New Zealand
I’m viewing it from the lens of the recent iPad 10.2” launch and the pricing of competitor products. If Apple isn’t afraid to launch an A10 iPad in 2019, they might be willing to launch an iPhone with A10 or A11 in 2020.

Xiaomi sells their A3 for $200 with a 6.1” OLED display, triple camera, and in-display fingerprint sensor. I’m still not sure how Apple will compete in emerging markets with a 4.7” device. Perhaps they might be willing to drop the price to $299 or even $249 which I why I’m expecting low specs.
I doubt Apple is at all interested in the sub-$300 market. There’s always going to be cheaper phones with better specs on paper than the cheapest iPhone.

The $329 iPad exists so they can sell them for $299 to the education market and be competitive with Chromebooks. Plus, the average consumer uses it as just a web browsing and email machine. The unlaminated display, 6-year old cameras, and lack of cellular radios are acceptable trade-offs in an iPad, but not in an iPhone. The A10 chipset accounts for very little of the cost savings, it’s just there to keep the $499 Air attractive.
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
5,032
7,455
I doubt Apple is at all interested in the sub-$300 market. There’s always going to be cheaper phones with better specs on paper than the cheapest iPhone.

The $329 iPad exists so they can sell them for $299 to the education market and be competitive with Chromebooks. Plus, the average consumer uses it as just a web browsing and email machine. The unlaminated display, 6-year old cameras, and lack of cellular radios are acceptable trade-offs in an iPad, but not in an iPhone. The A10 chipset accounts for very little of the cost savings, it’s just there to keep the $499 Air attractive.
The reality is, price is a big factor for emerging markets. As smartphones mature, Apple can only defy gravity for so long. The iPhone SE didn't fare well at all in emerging markets like India and Africa. If the low-cost iPhone is really intended as a low-cost device, Apple needs to pull the price lever. Replicating the same SE strategy from 2016 will have the same lackluster results. If anything, the value gap between Apple and Xiaomi is even larger today.

The SE was a small iPhone with good performance. The problem was, emerging markets found it far too small for $399. A 4.7" iPhone with A12 in 2020 will have the same problem at $399.
 

MF878

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2011
269
137
Auckland, New Zealand
The reality is, price is a big factor for emerging markets. As smartphones mature, Apple can only defy gravity for so long. The iPhone SE didn't fare well at all in emerging markets like India and Africa. If the low-cost iPhone is really intended as a low-cost device, Apple needs to pull the price lever. Replicating the same SE strategy from 2016 will have the same lackluster results. If anything, the value gap between Apple and Xiaomi is even larger today.

The SE was a small iPhone with good performance. The problem was, emerging markets found it far too small for $399. A 4.7" iPhone with A12 in 2020 will have the same problem at $399.
I can see them maybe going to $349, but once you get to the sub-$300 segment, margins are much lower unless you’re going to try and pawn off really dated hardware. All the same reasons that Apple hasn’t done a $500 MacBook or iMac apply, which they never did even in the pre-iPad days. Apple regularly holds 70-90% of total smartphone industry profit, and you don’t improve that with high-volume, low-margin products. Apple cares about revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction, not unit market share. They will let others like Xiaomi and Huawei chase volume, and as consumers in China and India are lifted into the middle class, that’s where Apple tries to intercept.
 

journeyy

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2013
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As I said in another thread, I really hope for the camera from the 11 in combination with the A13. Not for the performance (A12 would be more then adequate), but for handling the camera and night mode. As I don't really need the night mode and like the form factor, this would be a non-brainer upgrade from the 7 for me.
 

Yebubbleman

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Original poster
May 20, 2010
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Los Angeles, CA
I would think that the main selling point of a new iPhone in the 4.7" iPhone 8 form factor would be that it's a phone for people that think the iPhone XR or iPhone 11 is too big of a phone, but don't want to spend the $999 that it would cost to merely buy the entry level iPhone 11 Pro. Because otherwise, Apple is saying to those of us not interested in a $1000+ phone that 6.1" is the only size you have going forward.