Top table last year
Referring to Apple has always been about the tactics that opponents can hardly learn. One of these is last year's "top table" strategy: instead of launching multiple products across multiple segments, each year Apple only launches a small number of products and discounts $ 100 for last year's product. For example, when the iPhone 5 was launched, the iPhone 4S was discounted from its original price of $ 650 to $ 550. When the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were born, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus from the $ 650/750 launch price were reduced by $ 100 to $ 550/650.
The iPhone has been around for a long time, but last year's iPhone was sold at a discount of $ 100.
Until 2018, when the iPhone portfolio became much more chaotic, Apple's pricing principles continued to a certain extent. In 2017, the iPhone 8 launched for $ 800 and by 2018 it was only $ 700 (the Plus version dropped from $ 900 to $ 800). The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus launched in 2016 are now selling for $ 450 and $ 550 respectively, down $ 200 from the original price because Apple now has two new iPhone generations. Every year, every generation, Apple reduces the price of the old iPhone by $ 100.
Over the years, it was this strategy that made it possible for Apple homes to reach out to a wider audience without losing brand value: iPhone buyers never have to buy second-class phones. They always use top products, only the old or new. Compared to the strategy of splitting up Samsung or Chinese brands, last year's top sales really were a great way for Apple to win fans – even if they couldn't afford the latest purchases.
Remove the old strategy?
Unfortunately, Apple's situation is getting worse and worse, and 2019 and 2020 can see this illustrious strategy pushed back by Tim Cook. Last year, he made the first special exception when using the iPhone XS to kill the iPhone X. Instead of continuing to sell for $ 100 less than the original price, the iPhone X was discontinued at crucial market right after XS was unveiled.
No more "last year's top": iPhone XS was just released iPhone X was immediately "back to the garden".
The leaked images from early 2019 so far show that Apple is preparing a full trio to succeed both the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. The decision last year is likely to be repeated, and all three 2018 iPhones will be completely removed from Apple's production cycle as soon as the iPhone 11 trio launches. Neither the iPhone XS, XS Max nor the XR will have the honor of being the "top of the table last year" as with any iPhone 6 Plus or iPhone 4.
At the same time, after the iPhone 7/7 Plus was killed on September 10 (they are 3 years old), the strategy of "last year's top" will only remain on the iPhone 8 duo. come on. By 2020, when the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are 3 years old and released, the "last year's top" strategy will probably end completely.
Can not maintain anymore
This conclusion is entirely reasonable, because considering the current situation, Tim Cook can hardly continue to cling to the old iPhone as bait for iFan not abundant. Since the last quarter of 2018, both iPhone sales and revenue have continuously declined. iFan is slow to upgrade because it's boring with the iPhone.
To keep fans coming back, Apple needs an annual refresh portfolio, like what Apple is about to do with the new iPhone trio. Not stopping here, in March, Apple will unveil another "iPhone SE 2" with 4.7 inch screen and the price "only" 450 USD only. With such an attractive price, iPhone SE 2 will certainly attract a large number of high-end users, but it will make the iPhone 8 ($ 500 after September 10) meaningless in the Apple portfolio. . Would an old fox like Tim Cook want to sell two smartphones of the same screen size at the same "low" price bracket (compared to Apple standards), spaced only a mere $ 50?
A brand new iPhone trio will also push the XS, XS Max and XR into the past.
Apple needs new categories each year to push users back to upgrade iPhone rather than just bring the old iPhone to "chew" as it is now. If you want, Cook can not resell older iPhones: if you maintain each product for another year, Apple has up to 8 iPhone models sold at the same time, both disturbing the user and causing the cycle. Production / distribution is more complicated. From this year, 4 iPhones will also cover all price segments that Apple wants to target: SE 2 for high-end access, 11 for high-end "normal" and 11/11 Max for super-thousand dollars. Apple really had no reason to hold on to the top of the year.