On September 7, Apple announced that beginning on September 16, it will begin selling four new models in its “iPhone 14″ series of smartphones. In 2021, the ” iPhone 13 ” series will be released in response to domestic demand caused by the new crown epidemic, while the iPhone 14 will be released in the midst of a harsh business environment characterized by “rising prices,” “shrinking market,” “China-US confrontation,” etc. There is no mistaking the defensive stance at the heart of this development, as evidenced by the fact that low-end models continue to use the same semiconductors they did a year ago.
Apple’s “emergency SOS” function, which can report accidents and fires through communication satellites in areas not covered by mobile phone waves, was one of the highlights introduced at the new product launch conference held at the headquarters in California, USA after a gap of about 3 years. Apple launched the service in the United States and Canada in November, beating out rivals like Google in the process.
The 14th generation of the iPhone can also sense when a car has been in a collision and sound an automatic alarm. At a press event on September 7th, Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized that “the iPhone is equipped with more security features.”
Hardware-wise, the differences between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are negligible. Even the pre-conference reports for the seventh conference did not concentrate on functions, but rather on price strategies, as the U.S. economy faced historic inflation.
The ” iPhone 14 “, ” iPhone 14 Pro “, and ” iPhone 14 Pro Max ” are all priced at the same level as their iPhone 13 series counterparts in the United States. While the price of an iPhone has increased around the world as a result of the dollar’s rise in value against the yen, the increase in Japan has been more pronounced. All iPhone 14 models cost more than 100,000 yen in Japan, following a price hike that took effect on July 1 for existing models.
Apple’s pain in the face of inflation is reflected in the materials used to make the iPhone 14 series. The newly designed ” A16 ” is only available on two premium models and is the semiconductor equivalent of the brain’s ” SoC (System on Chip) “.
Both budget models use the “A15” system-on-chip (SoC), which has been around since last year’s 13 series. Many speculate that Apple wants to use cheaper, more mass-producible parts to lower its prices. Apple has previously updated its SoCs alongside its iPhone releases, but this time is different.
The market is contracting, which is another bad sign. After 5 years, in 2021, the global smartphone market will experience growth, but the trend of people staying indoors due to the pandemic will have faded. Fear of a recession as a result of the crisis in Ukraine and rising interest rates in the United States has led to a general trend of reduced consumer spending. IDC, a research firm based in the United States, predicts that worldwide shipments will drop by 6.5% from 2019 to around 1.27 billion units in 2022.
Given the heated competition between the United States and China, Apple is working hard to spread out its iPhone supply chain, which is currently too dependent on the Chinese economy. According to reports, India’s production start time for the 14 series is only 2 months later than China’s. Previously, it was 6 to 9 months later.
However, TSMC is still the only source for the SoC, even in the most recent models. As a result of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s August visit to Taiwan, Apple was cognizant of the geopolitical risks in the region. TSMC chairman Liu Deyin has stated that everyone stands to lose if tensions rise on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Apple usually unveils its new iPhone around the middle of September, but this year it was released a week earlier. Others note that semiconductor and other supply shortages persist. By bringing forward the debut of new models, Apple may increase its quarterly operating income compared to the same period last year, as has been speculated.
Apple has maintained the same price for its flagship model despite the fact that inflation is rife in the United States, and the company’s strategy reflects a defensive stance. According to Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities, “Wall Street was shocked.” With the strengthening of the US dollar, Apple has increased its local prices across Europe as well as Japan. Apple’s market cap dropped below US$ 3 trillion for the first time since it surpassed the US$ 3 trillion mark in January 2022. Investors are keeping a close eye on how recent changes in the macroeconomic environment will affect the stock market.