Apple is targeting owners of older iPhone models to promote an upgrade to the iPhone XR, touting a trade-in price of "from $549" and promising three-times faster performance than the iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple is tailoring emails to US owners of particular iPhone models, explaining the benefits of upgrading to the cheapest new iPhone, according to users on Reddit who have reported receiving the email from Apple.
One iPhone 6 Plus owner reports not having upgraded since buying that model, noting that taking up last year's special $29 battery replacement offer, which ended December 31, could be the reason why the email arrived.
Incidentally, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly told a staff during a January 3 all-hands meeting after cutting its Q1 revenue forecast, that the company replaced 11 million batteries under the $29 replacement program. Apple normally would replace one to two million in that period. The details were leaked by Apple watcher John Gruber.
A copy of the promotional email published by MacRumors highlights the iPhone XR's larger display, more durable glass, longer battery life, and water resistance. It also says it has more storage, FaceID, and studio-quality photos.
The email campaign follows Apple's warning earlier this month to investors that it expects to miss its previous revenue outlook by up to $9bn due to weak sales of its new iPhone and a deceleration of the Chinese economy. The company has reportedly slashed Q2 2019 production of all iPhone models it makes by about 10 percent.
Hoping to spur holiday season upgrades, Apple in November launched promotional trade-in prices, offering up to $100 more than usual for old iPhone models when buying an iPhone XS or iPhone XR. Apple is also using new promotional techniques on its website, describing the iPhone XR as "from $449" and the iPhone XS as from $699, but that's based on a trade-in of an iPhone 7 Plus.
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