Deary Lordy Us – iPhone Rumour Machine Grinds Into Gear Again

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It’s that time of the year we’re afraid – the iPhone rumour machine is grinding into gear. We’ve now got the entire summer of speculation about what, when, which price, leaks, rumours and flat out lies over what Apple will and won’t announce as the iPhone XI to look forward to.

Some of us actually started in this journalism thing before there even was an iPhone so we’ve rather seen this all before. The simple truth being that Apple will, at some point, release something mildly different from what they already sell. Those in pursuit of Veblen Goods will buy it. Everyone else will continue to use whatever.

That’s not going to stop article after article like the following of course:

Apple’s next iPhone could ditch the Lightning port, making all your old charging cables redundant. The rumour has been circulating for some time that Apple is planning to replace the Lightning port – which has been a key feature of the iPhone since 2012 – with a USB-C port on the forthcoming iPhone XI. Now a screengrab of the new recovery mode screen in iOS 13 – the next version of Apple’s iPhone software – appears to confirm this rumour.

They might do that. They did after all do it when they introduced the current port – made everyone go buy everything again.

The hype train for the iPhone 11 has started, so we’ve been hearing leaks left, right and center, each with more outlandish features than the last – but it looks like the upcoming handset could simply be a minuscule upgrade over the iPhone XS, rather than a revolutionary new device.

Won’t stop those in pursuit of the social glory of a Veblen Good of course but….

APPLE could raise prices for its next iPhone model by £300 – and possibly even £435 for the top-spec model. That’s the warning from one expert who thinks the US-China trade war could see Apple’s production costs spiralling out of control.

Difficult to see how that one would work to be honest. Apple already has agreements with China that parts imports to make iPhones don’t pay duty – their assembly plants are treated as freeports in effect.

While most of these big global companies are able to shift production, “it doesn’t just happen with the snap of a finger,” said Coates. It requires retraining and hiring more workers, for one thing. The process of reestablishing a supply chain could take 12 to 18 months and comes with its own problems. “Almost no place can match the manufacturing might of China at the moment,” said Coates. Shipping from India can add two weeks, and the country doesn’t have the same infrastructure — deep-water ports, trains, eight-lane highways — as China. All of that could increase Apple’s manufacturing costs by 30%, Coates said. That could push the price of the iPhone XS, which is currently $999, well over $1,000.

Ignorant tossery. The bit that happens in China is the assembly. The trivially low value part of it all. The value production is in chips, screen, design, software and brand. None of which are made in China. And tariffs aren’t a problem, see above about freeports.

Why Apple should follow Google’s lead and ‘leak’ the iPhone 11 design early

We’ve got months and months of this to go yet folks. And just like everyone else whether we join in or not is going to be a function of how many clicks we gain by doing so…..