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Apple Cuts Price of iPhone 15, Impact of Sluggish Sales?

Apple made a surprise after just cutting the price of the iPhone 15 series in China. This rare discount comes after analysts reported iPhone sales dropping drastically in China.

Apple has quietly introduced discounted prices for its newest iPhone models on their official website starting today, Monday (15/1/2024). This promotion is valid from January 18 to January 21 ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The price of the iPhone 15 series in China has been cut to 500 Yuan or around IDR 1 million. The discount is equivalent to 5% of the original price of the iPhone 15 series in China.

Apple usually cuts prices on its gadgets ahead of Chinese New Year, which this year falls in February. However, this discount is quite surprising considering that Apple has never discounted the price of its newest iPhone in recent years.

The price of the iPhone 15 series in China was previously cut at the end of October last year, but not by Apple directly but by retail partners such as Pinduoduo and Taobao. In fact, the discount offered is up to IDR 2 million cheaper than Apple’s official price.

This year’s discount covers many iPhone variants, from the iPhone 13 which is two years old to the iPhone 15 Pro Max which is only a few months old.

Apple is also offering discounted prices on other devices including the MacBook Air, some iPad models, some AirPod models, and the Apple Watch SE. The price of the MacBook Air in China has even been discounted by up to 700 Yuan or around Rp. 1.7 million, as quoted from Bloomberg, Monday (15/1/2024).

Discounts for the iPhone 15 series were announced when consumers in China prefer local cellphones, such as cellphones made by Huawei. Not to mention that the Chinese government is also starting to tighten the use of iPhones and other foreign cellphones in several government organizations.

Analysts from Jefferies recently revealed that iPhone sales in China in 2023 will fall by 30%. iPhone sales in China are also predicted to fall by double digits during 2024 and this will not be helped by the launch of the iPhone 16 series.

Wow! China claims it can break AirDrop encryption on iPhone

The Chinese government claims to have succeeded in finding a way to identify message senders via Apple’s AirDrop feature.

According to the Chinese government, they took this step as part of their efforts to silence the spread of content considered illegal, as quoted by Techviral from Time, Wednesday (10/1/2024).

It is an institute in Beijing, China, that has succeeded in developing a technique to break into encrypted device records on the iPhone. This note contains identification in the form of email and number from the sender of the AirDrop content.

Chinese police have succeeded in identifying a number of suspects using this method, without saying whether these suspects have been arrested or not.

“This increases the efficiency and accuracy of solving cases and avoids the spread of inappropriate content as well as the potential negative effects it causes,” wrote the Chinese government.

For your information, AirDrop is an iPhone feature that activists in various countries usually use to spread their messages. This feature requires a Bluetooth connection, so it requires the user to be in a relatively close position.

One example of its application was during the massive demonstrations in Hong Kong in 2019. Via AirDrop, users can send data in the form of images, documents or videos between Apple devices.

China Controls Apple

AirDrop itself has actually been restricted in China since 2022, precisely after the service was used by demonstrators to distribute images to fellow iPhone users. So far, Apple has not issued a statement regarding the Chinese government breaking AirDrop encryption.

In fact, in 2021, there was a report by security researchers from the Secure Mobile Networking Lab (SEEMOO) and the Cryptography and Privacy Engineering Group (ENCYPTO) at Darmstadt Technical University, Germany, which stated that there was a weakness in the AirDrop feature, namely that it could expose the user’s number and email.

Researchers claim to have reported Apple about the flaw in May 2019. However, Apple is said to have never responded.

“It is possible for hackers to learn the phone numbers and email addresses of AirDrop users. All they need is a Wi-Fi-enabled device and physical proximity to the target who starts the discovery process by opening the sharing panel on the iOS or macOS device,” quoted a Darmstadt Technical University press release.

iPhone 15 Pro Max was charged using a cheap charger, the cable melted

Using a cheap charger from an unknown manufacturer does have many risks. As experienced by an iPhone 15 Pro Max owner who charged his cellphone using a cheap charger and the cable immediately melted.

This incident was told by Reddit user NoisilyMarvellous. In his post on the iPhone sub-Reddit, NoisilyMarvellous also uploaded a photo of his iPhone 15 Pro Max with the burnt end of the USB-C cable still attached to the port.

“I know that the iPhone 15 Pro Max can get hot, but after using it for a month, my cellphone got so hot when I charged it overnight that it left burn marks on my fingers,” said NoisilyMarvellous, as quoted by BGR, Wednesday (27/12/2023) .

“When I unplugged the charger, part of the plastic melted, leaving burnt marks on the body and the metal part of the USB-C port got stuck in the phone,” he continued.

NoisilyMarvellous also asked other Reddit forum members for help to remove the USB-C part that was stuck on his iPhone. He also asked whether this problem was caused by the charger, cable, or cellphone.

He added that the iPhone 15 Pro Max was not being used when it was being charged. The phone was charged overnight while the owner slept with Optimized Charging enabled.

In his post, the owner of the iPhone 15 Pro Max did not mention the type of charger he used. In a separate comment, NoisilyMarvellous revealed that it used a standard USB-C adapter and cable purchased on Amazon.

IPhone is not a cheap cellphone

This comment was immediately bombarded with hundreds of downvotes from other forum members. Most advise iPhone 15 Pro Max owners to always use an official charger from Apple or at least from a credible third-party company, especially if you can afford an expensive flagship cellphone.

Apple no longer provides adapters in iPhone sales packaging, but still includes an official USB-C/Lightning cable. NoisilyMarvellous admitted that he prefers to use cables purchased on Amazon because they are longer.

In a separate post, NoisilyMarvellous provided an update that he was able to remove the melted part of the cable from the USB-C port. But the inside of the port is burnt and the iPhone 15 Pro Max can no longer be charged using a cable.

Luckily the iPhone 15 Pro Max supports wireless charging. The bad news is that the cost of repairing an iPhone charging port may be expensive, especially without an Apple Care guarantee.

Leaked Appearance of iPhone 16, Camera Similar to iPhone X and Has Action Button

The iPhone 15 series was just launched by Apple last September. However, news about its successor, which is said to be called the iPhone 16, has emerged in cyber media.

A leaked image reveals three prototypes of the device, codenamed “DeLorean” within Apple. One of these three prototypes is suspected to be selected as the final design for the standard iPhone 16, aka non-Pro.

Interestingly, one of the prototypes appears to have a rear camera design similar to the 2017 iPhone X, with two camera lenses arranged vertically in one capsule-shaped section.

The other two prototypes look more similar to the iPhone 15. Only, the two rear cameras are arranged parallel – not diagonally – in a square-shaped module.

If you remember again, these two pink and black prototypes are similar to the iPhone 12 which also has a rear camera that is arranged parallel vertically, before changing to a diagonal from the iPhone 13 to the iPhone 15.

Meanwhile, the appearance of the three iPhone 16 prototypes from the front can be seen from the front. still the same as the previous iPhone 16. There is a Dynamic Island at the top which is in the form of a capsule and its size can change according to the application widget being run.

There is an Action Button like the Pro version of the iPhone.

Apart from the front and back views, the leaked image also shows the figures of the three device prototypes which are thought to be the iPhone 16 candidates. One of the most interesting things is the presence of a new button next to the two volume buttons.

This new button is allegedly none other than the Action Button, namely a button that can be used as a shortcut to carry out certain functions or applications.

Action Button is actually present in the iPhone 15 line, but only on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models, while the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are not available yet.

If the leaked image below is true, then it is possible that all models in the iPhone 16 line will have an Action Button, including the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus. Previously, rumors had circulated that suggested this possibility.

It can be seen that the three device prototypes have different “Action Button” designs. The yellow and pink prototypes have small buttons. Meanwhile, the buttons on the black device are bigger and longer.

The design of the volume buttons also looks different, namely integrated on the yellow device and separate on the pink and black devices.

There are new capacitive buttons

What’s more interesting, from the leaked images, apart from the Action Button, Apple seems to be experimenting with adding a new button that is capacitive, aka activated by touch, instead of being pressed like a physical button.

The capacitive button looks elongated like the power button and is placed on the same side, namely the right on the black prototype.

As compiled by Tech Viral from MacRumors, Friday (15/12/2023), the mmWave antenna which was previously on this side was moved to the left side along with two volume buttons and an Action Button.

The new capacitive button, known as “Project Nova”, allegedly functions as a shutter button shortcut or button for taking photos when using the camera application.

There is still a possibility that Apple will not actually implement this capacitive button. Because the yellow and pink iPhone 16 prototypes don’t appear to have them.

Of course, the three prototypes in the series of images above do not necessarily represent the true appearance of the iPhone 16 because they are still rumors. It is likely that the exact design of the iPhone 16 will only be known before its launch in 2024.

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