Smartphone growth around the globe is down, and it is affecting profits for companies like Apple and Samsung. Maybe it's not rocket science as to why this is happening. Outside of market saturation, high-end handsets have been going up in price, and perhaps consumers have reached the breaking point. If that is the case, it makes sense for Apple to consider launching a new mid-range iPhone, as is rumored.
Apple's current generation iPhone models consist of the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max and 5.8-inch iPhone XS, both with OLED displays, and the 6.1-inch iPhone XR with an LCD screen. There are other differentiating factors, though all three sport a custom A12 Bionic processor. Off contract, prices range from $749 (iPhone XR with 64GB of onboard storage) to $1,449 (iPhone XS Max with 512GB of storage).
Those are all relatively high-end smartphones, with price tags to match. Could a cheaper model be in the works? A report by Economic Daily suggests Apple is working on an updated version of the iPhone 8 that will debut in 2020. For anyone who needs a refresher, the iPhone 8 sports a 4.7-inch display with a 1334x750 resolution, powered by Apple's A11 Bionic processor.
While still a capable device, it's considered a mid-range phone by today's standards. Bearing in mind that the rumored refresh is still a year away from launch (if the report is accurate), the refreshed model could sport an A12 Bionic processor. Apple could also stick with the A11 Bionic chip and update other aspects of the phone, such as adding Face ID and a TrueDepth camera arrangement.
Whether this would be a wise move or not is up for debate. Obviously it would also come down to price, no matter what feature it packs. Also, mid-range devices sometimes vanish into the ether, with consumers flocking to high-end and low-end handsets instead.
Nevertheless, there is a definite gap between the low-end (and now dated) iPhone SE, which starts at $249 right now (on sale from $349), and the current generation of iPhone models. A modern generation mid-phone handset could fill that gap.