The year 2020 began on a positive note for Apple, with the Cupertino-based technology giant reporting record revenue of $91.8 billion for the three-month period ended December 2019, up 9% from the previous year. iPhone sales grew 8% in the quarter, services 17%, and wearables 37%.
But the mood isn’t so upbeat now. On Monday, Apple said that the coronavirus outbreak in China will lead to its revenues falling short in the current quarter, with iPhone supplies being “temporarily constrained”. Not surprisingly, Apple shares closed 1.8% down on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.
There’s more bad news in store. A survey by consumer research firm Piplsay has found that 33% of the 41,523 Americans polled think that Samsung’s Galaxy S20 range, unveiled in San Francisco last week, will pose a threat to the upcoming iPhone 12. That’s not all. As many as 46% of Americans were interested in buying the Galaxy smartphones.
The latest Galaxy range consists of the S20, which sports a 6.7-inch screen and prices starting at ₹66.999; the S20+, with a 6.7-inch screen and prices starting at ₹73,999; and the top-end S20 Ultra, with a 6.9-inch screen, a quad-camera setup, and prices starting at ₹92,999. Available on pre-order in India, these phones will start shipping in the first week of March.
The Galaxy phones are also expected to shoot better pictures than an iPhone, the survey found. Of those surveyed, 49% of Americans think that the S20 range will outperform the iPhone’s picture quality, something that has been the hallmark of phones made by Apple. What is more worrying for Apple is that 59% of millennials and 45% of the Gen Z think the S20 camera will beat the iPhone.
Another phone that invited sharp opinions was Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip, which was also part of the ‘Unboxing’ event in San Francisco. The clamshell phone has a 6.7-inch foldable screen, and a 1.1-inch secondary display. As many as 49% respondents weren’t sure if the phone would perform well. While the Flip sports the weakest battery among the four phones, 39% of Americans are also not impressed with the bigger batteries on the S20 phones.
The Flip was launched in the U.S. for $1,380, and while its India price is yet to be revealed, it would possibly be priced similar to the iPhone 11 Pro Max. For Apple, the good news is that the iPhone 12 is still some months away, and the survey could act as a wake-up call. Don’t forget, that according to various reports and industry buzz, Apple is supposed to come out with a sub-₹40,000 phone (called the iPhone 9 or the iPhone SE 2 on various forums) in the coming months. And that could well be the biggest driver for growth in India.
For industry watchers, it is indeed exciting times ahead.