While the iPhone is losing ground each season in favor of Samsung, the rumor of a cheaper iPhone surfaced. Hypothesis became less improbable since the arrival of the iPad Mini in late 2012.
Apple could expand its range of iPhone. The California giant will work on a cheaper version of its smartphone by the words of the Wall Street Journal. This new version of the iPhone 5 will look the same but with cheaper components, this person said. The one thing which will certainly be different is aluminum chase which in this case will be made of cheaper polycarbonate. Like the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini size could also be downgraded – back to iPhone 4S?
According to the person interviewed by the WSJ, Apple is considering a cheaper iPhone since 2009, two years after the release of the first smartphone. The aim is to introduce the brand to consumers and glean market share of less mature segments.
Samsung is still in lead
In fact, Apple’s market share in smartphones have significantly melted. If brand sales are increasing – 27 million iPhones were shipped in the third quarter of 2012, an annual increase of 58% – Apple loses slices of cake in favor of Samsung. In the second quarter of 2011, Apple had 19% of smartphone sales against 16% for Samsung. Since then, the power relationship is reversed in favor of South Korea, which claimed 31.3% of sales in the third quarter of 2012, according to IDC, against 15% for Apple.
One of the strengths of Samsung is that they target all market segments, from low-end to premium. In 2012, a total of 37 models that have emerged, against only one for Apple, the iPhone 5, with a ticket for $700. Offering a cheaper iPhone will not compete with Samsung provided at all levels but will further open the iPhone to prepaid subscribers. But also gaining ground in developing countries and less mature, particularly in China, where Android devices reach 90% of the sales end of 2012 according to Analysys International.
Big changes in past 2 days
Traveling to China with Tim Cook, vice president of marketing for Apple, Phil Schiller, said that his company was not engaged in a race for market share. He took the opportunity to scratch the strategy of its competitors, without naming them, who “launched several products of different sizes hoping one of them will attract the favor of customers.” Suddenly, he felt that these customers, once the device purchased, struggling to find the right applications, tainting him after the user experience, a point dear to Apple.
On the morning of Friday, January 11, Reuters published an article citing information from the Shanghai Evening News newspaper that Phil Schiller said that “Apple will not produce cheaper iPhone”. He reportedly said that such iPhone “will never be the future generation of Apple.” But midday news agency finally decided to withdraw the paper. Reuters explains its decision by the fact that the Chinese newspaper has made substantial changes in the original article. Phil Schiller’s remarks were they wrong? We do not yet know the nature of these changes.