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I'm hoping that a new SE sized iPhone is announced in September. My wife owns an SE and refuses to use anything larger, The XR (the cheapest X Series iPhone) is a joke for those with smaller hands, It's simply uncomfortable to use. The current design points in the X Series (or the XI Series) is where the SE point needs to one.
The SE also opens the door to a traditional marketing program of upgrades used by the auto industry for generations. GM would start you with a Chevy, move you to a Pontiac, then an Olds (or Buick) and maybe a Caddy. Toyota has that. same approach, but starts you with a Corolla,
Apple can take that same path with lower costs iPhones like the SE and base level Macs. The difference between the Apple approach and the auto approach would be how easily upgrading Apples would be compared to cars.
I believe that the current price of the iPhones is simply too high for a large portion of the market. A lot of lower income people get a "fee" iPhone via their carrier, basically paying it off over 2 or 3 years, But that approach favors other phone makers. A less expensive iPhone (probably with a plastic caesura and no FaceID makes as much sense for the US market as well as China and a lot of other countries. There should be no issue having a cheaper processor as Apple would dimply use the previous version of the Ax processor, A13 announced in September then the plastic model would have the A12, or A11. As for the SE - don't screw that up. It needs to have the design and component standards of the XR - just in a size that fits well in smaller hands. Apple has lefty the SE to become the "Cheap iPhone" instead of the most comfortable iP}hone for millions. FaceID will open up a huge amount of display space, making it even more desirable. Maybe name that the XL.
$70 is a bit pricy when compared to standard units, That market is basically like the razor market - the companies sell razors cheap and make money off the blades. With blood monitoring the test strips are the money maker.
Against this option is the Continuous Glucose Monitoring that tests the blood every 5 or so minutes and sends the results to the monitor/iPhone. The Medicare approved version I'm looking at (iDexcom G5) requires a baseline stick once a day. The next version needs no finger sticks. Both provide a far more aggressive monitoring than finger sticks so the key is going to be insurance reimbursement t.
China can make noise from time to time, but they know that Apple generates jobs in China and their markets oriented middle class also knows that. Just as important is that China knows that other countries (like India) would love to take on more Apple production. Things might worse if Trump is re-elected, but that will be an increasing battle over tariffs, which will hurt US Agriculture more than Apple.
When they hired Ron Johnson they wanted to move the JCP profile to a younger generation because they realized that the loyal generation that had been shopping with them for years was retiring and would have less money to spend. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful in attracting a younger generation. And the changes alienated the once loyal customer base. My mother was one of those shoppers who did not like the changes Ron Johnson implemented. So Ron was ushered out and the old ways crept back in again. JCP is a dead company walking. Never mind the ApplePay loss.
Ron Johnson did make major changes to store design - getting rid of the '40s look. More importantly he went to Every Day Low Prices, lowering prices throughout the store. Customers demonstrated that they preferred higher prices on Sale. When Ron was replaced everything was marked back up again so they could be put on Sale at a price higher than the prices Johnson set. I can remembering walking through the Men's department and all the price tags had the price cut off and a newer price stuck on.
As for dropping Apple Pay, take a look at how much inventory they have and how few sales staff they have to sell. They are, I believe, having sufficient financial problems that push them to drop Apple Pay.