Apple is expected to unveil a new range of iPhone 14 models and Apple Watches. But are consumers willing to upgrade tech and gadgets in the face of inflation and economic gloom?
Analysts expect Apple to announce that the latest iPhones can send emergency messages using satellites at the event titled “Far Out” at its Cupertino, California, headquarters.
Beyond that, analysts expect the new iPhone 14 models to have incremental upgrades. This typically includes slightly better cameras, processor chips, and, critically for Apple’s bottom line, prices $100 or higher than last year’s models.
But is that enough to make people chuck away their old phones and buy new ones?
Apple is the most valuable listed company in the world. It is expected to keep some older or less advanced models at lower prices, and to date, Apple’s relatively affluent fan base has shown more willingness to keep spending despite high inflation.
But the new models will be Apple’s sales anchor during holiday shopping seasons in Western markets during a turbulent period.
Analysts are warning that even though it is such a valuable company, even Apple is not immune to economic weakness.
The big update for this year’s iPhones is to have the ability to send emergency messages through a satellite internet connection when WiFi and mobile networks are not available. The messaging functions would likely be rudimentary, and other companies are working on similar functions.
Some analysts say that the peace of mind from being able to send emergency messages could spur Apple users to upgrade their phones for the satellite feature.
While it’s not something you would use every day, it would change people’s perspective on what you can do with your phone and may make people feel safer.
New Apple Watches are also expected, including an upgraded budget model called the SE and a Series 8 Watch. They also expect a new high-end watch called the Apple Watch Pro that will likely include new features for athletes, taking aim at rivals such as Garmin.
Accessories like the Apple Watch have driven incremental sales from Apple’s existing user base. It’s the iPhone that is the bedrock of the business, making up 52.4 percent of its sales.