A lukewarm response to Apple's new iPhones in China amid tough competition, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories

HANGZHOU (REUTERS) – A lower price tag and new features may not be enough for Apple Inc to win customers for its recently launched iPhone 11 series in China, the world's largest smartphone market already crowded with cheaper and more functional packages rival handset.

Apple's unveiling of three new iPhones in California faced a slack reaction Wednesday (Sept. 11) from analysts and social media in China, where the US giant has lost ground to competitors in recent years. [19659002] "More competitive aggressive pricing and a better camera would be the selling points, but the market is still full of challenges, both market competition and macroeconomic factors," said Will Wong, who tracks China's telephone market at research firm IDC. [1[ads1]9659004] The iPhone 11 will have two rear cameras, including an ultra-wide-angle lens and the next-generation microchip, the A13. Prices start at $ 699, down from last year's new iPhone which started at $ 749. Apple also dropped the price of last year's equivalent model iPhone XR by $ 150.

The more expensive iPhone 11 Pro will have three cameras on the back, starting at $ 999. The larger screen iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $ 1,999.

As expected, no one will be fifth generation enabled, which puts the phones a step behind 5G models already released by Huawei Technologies and minor rival Vivo.

"Since we still have to wait a year for 5G, why not just buy Huawei on Monday," said a user on China's Twitter-like service Weibo.

One meme that made the rounds on social media featured Apple CEO Tim Cook boasting new features, and Richard Yu, CEO of Huawi's consumer business group, ended him by pointing out that Huawei has had these features for several years.

In terms of features, one of the main features of the new launch for US buyers – $ 5 a month Netflix-like streaming service – would not be available in China.

Apple's share of the Chinese market in June quarter dropped to 5.8 percent from 6.4 percent a year earlier, according to Canalys research firm, which Huawei experienced a wave of support from Chinese consumers after the brand was caught up in a trade war between US and China.

Counterpoint analyst Neil Shah said that the entry price, while lowered by Apple, is still high compared to local competitors. Combined with the lack of 5G, which made the new iPhones "less attractive and future-proof" for Chinese consumers, Shah said, predicting that Apple will sell 30-35 million iPhones in China this year, down from 63 million phones in 2015. [19659002] Still, some analysts said Apple's decision to lower the entry price of the new iPhone, one of the most talked about topics on Weibo on Wednesday, was a positive sign.

"We believe the lower price of the iPhone 11 and the trade-in program will help promote upgrades, especially in China, while the Apple Arcade and TV + offering will accelerate the growth of services," said CFRA analyst Angelo Zino in a research note.

The new phones will be available to order on Friday and start shipping on September 20.

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