Apple prepares launch of iPhone 15 range at ‘Wonderlust’ event as it bucks smartphone trend with market share gains
Apple is expected to introduce its iPhone 15 range at an event at its headquarters in Cupertino, California later on Tuesday, at a time when the company has been gaining market share with its high-end devices even as broader smartphone sales slump.
The iPhone’s design cachet, along with its reputation as a reliable device that lasts for years, has helped it expand its market share worldwide and its sales in China, Japan, Europe and India.
In the US it accounts for more than 50 percent of the smartphone market, up from 41 percent in 2018, and about 20 percent of worldwide smartphone sales, up from 13 percent in 2019, according to Counterpoint.
While Android sales have declined over the past two years, amidst broader economic uncertainties, the market share gains have meant that Apple’s handset sales have declined only modestly.
The new devices are expected to feature only incremental improvements, such as a titanium case and a USB-C charging port.
The new port supplants the Lightning port, introduced in September 2012 with the iPhone 5, which replaced the large, 30-pin Dock Connector that had previously been used for a decade with the iPod and other devices.
The port change brings the iPhone into line with EU regulations that require all smartphones to use the same physical charging mechanism in order to cut down on waste.
Smartphone makers have until December 2024 to make their devices USB-C compatible, but Apple is widely expected to be making its move now.
Its MacBook laptops have already switched to USB-C connectors, although they can also be charged using Apple’s own MagSafe cables.
Apple Watch Ultra
The other stars of the upcoming “Wonderlust” event are expected to be the Apple Watch Series 9 and a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra.
The new Apple Watches are expected to use an updated S-series chip, rumoured to be based on the A15 Bionic chip used in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14.
The Apple Watch Ultra, introduced at last year’s autumn event, is a large, 49 millimetre titanium-body device aimed at outdoor enthusiasts, with niche features such as water resistance up to 100 metres.