Apple may be set to launch three new iPhone models and include Apple Pencil support in what could be a body blow to Samsung's Galaxy Note 9, according to research firm TrendForce. Apple is also expected to offer lower prices -- ranging from $699 to $999.
TrendForce's primary argument is that, with Apple's successor to iPhone X, the company has been able to squeeze its suppliers to get lower component costs. Samsung has cited the tough balance between component costs and profitability of its mobile unit.
Has Apple been able to bring component costs down? Perhaps. Foxconn, best known for manufacturing Apple's iPhones, reported a 2.2 percent decline in second quarter profit. What was notable is that Apple highlighted good demand for the iPhone. The two developments indicate that Apple has been able to squeeze suppliers to lower prices.
Apple is bound to adjust its pricing strategies, influenced by Chinese brands that have successfully expanded their market shares with products that offer high performances at affordable prices. Moreover, Apple will need to improve its cost structure to cope with the threats brought by Android brands. In order to maintain its profitability, Apple is said to bargain with its supply chain partners for cost reduction of components, especially the components that have been used in earlier generations of iPhone.
The timing of the TrendForce report may be just enough to pause Note 9 preorders, since the Apple Pencil support may give tech buyers pause.