Apple Inc's (NASDAQ:AAPL) high prices for its new batch of iPhones will press the envelope on brand loyalty with its customers, but the dual SIM card feature could bolster its share of the high-end market especially in China, the company's second biggest market behind that of the United States, a report by Oppenheimer Equity Reseearch said.
At its launch event on Wednesday, Apple set the lowest priced iPhone Xr at US$749, the iPhone Xs at US$999 and the biggest model of iPhone Xs Max at US$1,099.
"All three new iPhones will support dual SIM, but only iPhone Xr and iPhone Xs Max will support two physical SIM cards. This is the first time Apple supports dual SIM, a feature long wanted by Chinese customers and widely
available among Chinese Android phones. We believe dual SIM support will help Apple to gain share in China," a research note by Andrew Uerkwitz and Martin Yang wrote.
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The Oppenheimer analysts said the new Apple Watch received more substantial upgrades than the iPhones.
"It has bigger display area (30%+), more accurate motion sensors, and more sophisticated heart rate monitoring features that will likely strengthen its advantage over competing wearables. The common complaint of the Watch, short battery life, remains short (18 hours) and saw little meaningful improvement," they wrote.
The analysts said they find little reason "to get excited over new iPhones features and their growth prospects than before. We believe Apple may get another round of ASP increase and high-end share gain (especially in China) due to raised upper range of iPhone price and dual SIM support."
Oppenheimer kept their rating for Apple at Perform while not setting a 12- to 18-month price target. Apple shares were trading in the Thursday premarket 0.9% up at US$222.94, having closed on Wednesday at US$221.07, down 1.2% on the day.
Apple manufactures smartphones and is the world's most valuable company, piercing the US$1 trillion valuation in the last few weeks. The company is based in Cupertino, California.