apple iphone

(File) Apple’s annual developer conference in California this June. The tech giant is hours away from launching the highly-anticipated iPhone 8 Source: Reuters

How will Apple’s iPhone 8 fare in Asia?

AFTER adopting the same handset design for three straight years, Apple is finally preparing to launch an entirely new iPhone.

Rumored to be branded as the iPhone 8, iPhone Edition or iPhone X, the upcoming flagship is set to showcase the best mobile advancements the Cupertino-based tech giant has ever developed.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s iPhone turns 10, bumpy start forgotten

Details about the iPhone 8 have been leaking in a steady stream for months now, and so far, what has been discovered about the upcoming flagship is encouraging.

While Apple has remained mum on the specifics of the device, several leaks point to the iPhone 8 being a powerhouse handset that would feature a much-needed revamped design, a powerful A11 processor, a superior OLED display and several tricks such as wireless charging, a new 3D front-facing camera and a robust set of vertical dual rear camera sensors.

All these, of course, make the iPhone 8/X/Edition, a highly desirable device. Its new feature set and its exclusive design, if any, all but ensures it will become the must-have mobile phone of the year, possibly even surpassing the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

However, despite its attractive features, the iPhone 8 does have a particular aspect that might adversely affect sales, especially in the ever-lucrative Asian market. Speculation is that the Apple flagship would be priced at a steep premium, starting at around US$1,000 for the base model variant.

While the iPhone’s price has been steadily climbing over the past few years, the device’s cost in foreign countries such as China, Brazil, and the Philippines has inflated significantly. In Brazil, for example, high taxes, profit margins, and other factors have ended up increasing the iPhone 6S’ cost so much, the device ended up being priced more than US$1,000 on the market. The same is true in the Philippines, where top-tier variants of the latest iPhone usually end up commanding a price far beyond its suggested retail price.

In China, which is arguably the most lucrative market in Asia, Apple has been dealing with decreasing sales, with the revenue from the iPhone declining for the past six quarters. Currently, Apple stands in fifth place behind formidable local brands such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi. A primary reason behind these drops, of course, is the iPhone’s steep price.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s imminent iPhone 8 reveals fault lines in China’s smartphone market

With the iPhone 8/X/Edition, Apple is set to make its premier mobile device even more exclusive. One could even describe it as Apple pushing the iPhone 8/X/Edition well into luxury territory. According to Frank N. Magid Associates senior vice-president Debby Ruth, Apple’s strategy for its flagship mobile device this year is something completely different, and it will likely shake the mobile tech industry once more.

“It’s a whole new threshold. I really do think it’s going to make people pause,” she said, according to report from The Straits Times.

The iPhone 8/X/Edition is set to be unveiled at a special event in the Steve Jobs Theater on Sept 12 at 10am PDT (that’s 6pm in the UK and 1am on Sept 13 if you’re with us in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). The event will be streamed live on any compatible Apple device (see below).