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Apple budget iPhone coming in 2020, report says

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A customer compares rose gold iPhone SE (L) and iPhone 6S at an Apple Store

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Apple is reportedly planning to launch a new low-cost iPhone in 2020 that will help the company offset declines in iPhone sales, according to Nikkei. While Apple continues to introduce high-end iPhones, and is expected to introduce its latest on Sept. 10, fewer and fewer people are finding enough reasons to spend $1,000 on a new phone. A lower cost device could appeal to buyers in emerging markets, too.

Apple has used this strategy before. The iPhone SE was introduced in 2016 and was priced at $399, hundreds of dollars cheaper than its other iPhones. That phone was nearly identical in design to the iPhone 4s which launched a couple of years earlier. Nikkei said it’s unclear what the more affordable iPhone will be called but that Apple will likely use the same 4.7-inch screen size as the iPhone 8.

Apple still caters to a budget market, even if it no longer sells the iPhone SE, however.

It currently still sells the iPhone 7, which is several years old but now starts at $449. It typically lowers the cost of its older iPhones when it introduces new models, so the iPhone 8 might take that spot once the new models are introduced in Sept. Likewise, it also sells more affordable versions of its flagship phones.

The iPhone XR starts at $749, for example, while the flagship iPhone XS starts at $999. Apple is likely to continue this trend. On Sept. 10, it’s expected to introduce two new flagship devices to replace the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and a new version of the iPhone XR.

Apple was not immediately available to comment.

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Australian retailers suffer worst quarter in 20 years, exports shine

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Shoppers walk past a retail store in Australia.

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Australia’s retailers are facing a consumption drought as the country’s second biggest state locks down to fight the coronavirus and as data showed sales volumes suffered their biggest plunge in two decades in the second quarter.

Retail sales adjusted for inflation slipped 3.4% in the June quarter, Tuesday’s data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed, the steepest decline since the introduction of the goods and services tax in 2000. Analysts were expecting a 3.2% fall in the quarter.

The larger-than-expected drop suggests consumer spending will be a drag on gross domestic product growth in the June quarter.

The sales downturn was driven by cafes & restaurants, off 29.1%, and clothing, footwear and personal accessory, down 22%. There were also losses in food retailing.

The slump in volumes contrasts with value-based retail numbers, with June seeing a solid 2.7% jump in monthly sales and May recording a stellar 16.9% rise as shops, restaurants and pubs fully reopened across large parts of Australia.

Economists warned the outlook was clouded by a second wave of coronavirus infections in the state of Victoria, with weekly spending data by the country’s major banks already showing signs of moderation.

Victoria declared a “state of disaster” this week following a relentless surge in coronavirus infections since late June.

In contrast to retailers, Australia’s exporters have been going gangbusters thanks to demand from China for iron ore and other resources, while imports have been hammered by the lockdowns.

Separate data on Tuesday showed the trade surplus swelled to A$8.2 billion in June, taking the total for the second quarter to a whopping A$23.4 billion.

Exports rose 3% in June underpinned in part by sharply rising prices for iron ore and gold, providing a windfall to miners’ earnings and government tax receipts.

Exports to China alone hit an historic high of A$14.6 billion for the month, bringing the rolling 12-month total to A$151 billion.

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New Delhi cannot fully cut off economic ties with Beijing

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India China tensions: New Delhi cannot fully cut off economic ties with Beijing