12 Sep 2013

Cheaper iPhone aimed at Chinese market

3:52 pm on 12 September 2013

Shares in Apple continued to tank after it revealed on Wednesday two new handsets, which the market clearly didn't like.

Apple unveiled the two new iPhones: a slick new top-end model and one aimed at the cheaper end of the smartphone market, with developing countries, particularly China, in mind.

But analysts say that the new devices are unlikely to be a hit in emerging markets and that Apple has failed to bring down prices enough to attract many new customers.

Apple shares fell more than 2% on Wednesday and continued their decline overnight, to close 5.5% lower at $US467.71 cents.

The BBC reports that investors' unhappiness with the launch is being driven by the negative reaction in emerging markets.

The iPhone 5S is at the top end of the range and comes with a fingerprint-touch identification system and a new 8 megapixel iSight camera.

It also comes with a new operating system, the iOS7, which Apple has described as the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone.

The iPhone 5C, which some consider may be a nod to China, is at the cheaper end of the range. It also uses the new operating system and camera, and comes with a plastic back.

The new lower-end handset is seen as a way of Apple gaining market share in China in particular.

It will be launched into that market next week, the same time as it enters the United States and other Western markets - a first for the company.

Tech firm Icreon's chief executive Himanshu Sareen says the 5C is an unprecedented move for Apple and it is not the only company with an eye on the developing markets.

"They have a disadvantage because Android already has a huge market share and it remains to be seen, in developing countries where phones are not being subsidised by contracts, how the phone is priced," he says.

Mr Sareen says the iPhone 5S is not remarkably different from previous models.