Will the brand’s prices be perceived as too high for some potential consumers?
By Rick Emrith, Staff Writer
There was once a time when the word “apple” conjured images of a red, round fruit. Then, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, if someone said “apple”, perhaps you thought of a computer. In the early 2000’s, when the word “apple” was spoken, the first image that sprang to your mind might have been one of an iPod. Today, say “apple” to someone and chances are they are thinking of an iPhone and if you are in a room of people, chances are pretty high that someone has an iPhone.
With such strong brand recognition and products known around the word for being high priced but worth it, some were surprised when Apple began its aggressive advance into emerging markets. Today, Apple is beginning to focus heavily on the emerging Indian market, among others, as they look to expand past such mature markets as the United States and Canada.
Apple’s main competitor, Samsung, has maintained an advantage over Apple in emerging markets by offering a wide range of Android devices for a much lower price than most versions of the iPhone. Apple owns just a 5% share of the smartphone market in India. While the interest in owning an iPhone in India is high, many cannot afford the device as older models retail for around $500 US and newer ones around $800 US, putting it out of the price range of many Indian consumers.
Apple’s main competitor, Samsung, has maintained an advantage over Apple in emerging markets by offering a wide range of Android devices for a much lower price than most versions of the iPhone.
Instead of introducing a cheaper version of the iPhone as previously rumoured, Apple has instead chosen to combat this issue by offering loans in India so consumers can purchase the smartphones and make interest free payment instillations.
Apple has been making progress in other emerging smartphone markets such as China and Brazil but remains unsuccessful in India compared to their main competitor Samsung.
Samsung is not the only competition Apple faces in emerging markets. BlackBerry has demonstrated its dominance in emerging markets such as Haiti, where it’s BBM unlimited messaging feature has proved extremely popular. Companies like Huawei and ZTE are also quickly becoming dominant in emerging markets by offering smartphones with good cameras and fast processors for an affordable price.
The smartphone market is one that is expected to grow in the next several years as more and more emerging markets in China, Brazil, India and Africa pop up. An increasing number of people rely on smartphones to connect to the internet and Apple has started to take the necessary steps towards gaining shares in these key markets. However, the price of the luxurious iPhone might just be too high for many would be consumers.