As expected, Apple yesterday introduced the next-generation, 4-inch handset branded as the iPhone SE (in which SE stands for Special Edition, Phil Schiller told a Fortune journalist) and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and showed off new Apple Watch bands, and updates on its environmental and medical efforts.
The rumour mill had already anticipated the upgrades, but the analysts expected a higher price for the iPhone SE (they didn’t consider Canadian and international pricing, though, which is pretty spicy), so the $399 (USD) pricing took some of them by surprise, such as Kirk Burgess of the independent Braeburn Group, as highlighted by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt in his usual media event roundup. We’ve handpicked a few of the analysts’ comments below.
As Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray puts it, the “biggest feature” of the iPhone SE is its starting price, which is 11% lower than his expectation of $450 (USD). However, it has the potential to cannibalise some sales from the $550 price tier, he adds.
Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley sees demand for the iPhone at 56.5 million units in the March quarter, so she expects positive earnings revision and better iPhone demand.
Ben Bajarin, Creative Strategies: Apple in the “Post-Mature Consumer” Era. The era of hyper growth in smartphones and tablets is over. Which also means the land grab for global consumers is largely over. The most important dynamic facing Apple today is a maturing installed base and globally maturing Android owners. It was by no mistake Apple called out that the 4” iPhone form factor was serving as the global gateway for increasing numbers of brand new iPhone owners to enter Apple’s ecosystem. Much of this has to do with price more than size, but we can’t ignore the worldwide demand we see from customers in markets like China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil, who long to own an iPhone but simply can’t afford it. By essentially launching their first true mid-range priced iPhone with the iPhone SE at $399, Apple is targeting that market with a powerful offering.
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