While continues to woo China, and is, in fact struggling for the existence of its older iPhones thanks to Qualcomm’s successful patent lawsuit, other smartphone makers have set their eyes on new, faster growing markets like India. Of course, Apple has also attempted to set its foot there, going as far as make concessions to the government’s “Made in India” requirements. Unfortunately, based on the latest report, it’s efforts are not paying off as its flat pricing strategy across markets and limited selection make its iPhones an unattractive option for Indian consumers.
There’s no getting around the fact that smartphones are getting more and more expensive every year and Apple, Samsung, and, more recently, Huawei are leading the way. While that doesn’t seem to be a problem for markets like the US and UK, those markets are now seen to be stagnating and plateauing in terms of profits. While Android phone makers have mid-range backups for emerging markets, Apple may have painted itself into a corner using the strategy that has been working for it so far.
The Wall Street Journal describes how iPhone sales in India have peaked in 2015 and since then failed to recover. Where certain Indian retailers would be able to sell 80 iPhones per day back in 2013, it would be a miracle if they could sell even a single one these days. iPhones have always been a luxury lifestyle product but now the price has become too high to pay.
WSJ points to Apple’s unwillingness to change its strategy for different markets. Even the iPhone XR, which is supposed to be Apple’s cheapest iPhone this year, is well beyond the means of many people. It’s definitely a far cry from mid-range Android phones offered by its competitors. While Apple does offer older iPhones at even lower prices, those couldn’t compare with more recent but cheaper phones.
The problems for Apple’s iPhones keep piling up. In addition to being banned in China, the new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR are reported to be selling quite well, depending on who you ask. Apple has reportedly slashed productions to lower demand but has ramped up its marketing for the three iPhones.