Apple just undercut OnePlus on Price

And we need to talk about it

Picture from Apple… obviously

The phones are out, the embargoes have been lifted and the reviews are in. By all account, the iPhone SE is an all out hit (According to The Verge, MKBHD, Wired, Daring Fireball, TechCrunch, Buzzfeed). Oh, and you can unlock it with a mask on! (we missed you Touch ID ❤ )

But what is particularly remarkable to me is the branding strategy on display here, especially when in comparison to OnePlus who are moving in exactly the opposite direction.

Apple lineup: iPhone SE: $399, iPhone XR: $599, iPhone 11: $699, iPhone 11 Pro: $999, iPhone 11 Pro Max: $1099

OnePlus Lineup: OnePlus 8: $699, OnePlus 8 Pro: $999, OnePlus 7T: $499

Sure, OnePlus are rumored to have the mid-range OnePlus Z come out soon at the $550-$650 price point, but that just effectively replaces the 7T and still puts it up against the iPhone XR and 11. Which means Apple have a sub $500 product and OnePlus don’t. Is Apple the new ‘budget phone killer’?

OnePlus may bring more specs at a couple of given price points, but for a lot of people out there access to Apple services like Face time and iMessage are going to be a lot more valuable that 4GB of extra RAM. Not to mention compatibility with other fashionable accessories like AirPods and the Apple Watch.

As much as I applaud OnePlus for finally making a true flagship phone, it’s tough to think who outside of it’s loyal fan base is going to choose it over an iPhone.

It’s also intriguing to see what appears to be an entry level play from Apple here — after being premium only for so many years, they’re finally creating a compelling set of products that allow someone an entry into the famous walled garden at a decent price point.

You can get an iPhone SE (2020), iPad 10.2 (seventh generation), Apple Watch Series 3 and Airpods (first gen) for $1,086. That’s less than the base specification of the iPhone Pro Max.

I’ve read stories online before of kids getting bullied at school for being a green bubble, so I’m excited that Apple is finally making their products a bit more accessible to lower income households.

This is clearly all part of Apple’s big services play. They know that if they can increase their user base, then that gives them more people to sell subscriptions like Apple Music or Apple TV+ to (regardless of how good those services may or may not be).

Projecting this logic out, will we see more product development on the budget end of Apple’s other consumption heavy devices?

An Apple streaming stick to rival the Roku’s and Fire Stick’s of this world seems to make a lot of sense, and then how cheap can Apple produce an iPad for. We regularly see the current $329 seventh generation deice discounted to $299 or even as low as $250. Will we see an iPad SE at some point soon?

As wonderful as the 2020 iPhone SE may be, let’s be honest; it’s still a parts bin iPhone for Apple and isn’t exactly part of their strategy going forward. It’s something they refresh every few years to keep the tail end of upgraders on the latest processors and therefore iOS versions.

So what does Apple’s iPhone strategy look like moving forward? I obviously don’t know, but I would love to seem them move to something more simplistic. 3 sizes all coming in both regular and Pro configurations. From an iPhone Mini up to an iPhone Pro Max. 6 devices covering the entire market.

That’s the sort of aesthetically pleasing product lineup that Jobs would have wanted.

11th May 2020

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