Apple Stops Selling Lower-Cost iPhones in India

dannyyankou

macrumors G3
Mar 2, 2012
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Scarsdale, NY
I wonder why Apple doesn't just make low cost models for these markets? Rather than trying to hock old models at lower prices. Something like a Nokia 7.1 or Moto One and sell them at $350. They'll still have their high profit margin and people may be more apt to buy a new model than a four year old model.
Yeah, I’m sure if they sold a plastic iPhone with an A11 chip and a single lens camera for like $399, it would do well. Their India and China strategies are not good.
 

xbankaiz

macrumors member
Jul 11, 2015
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DE
iPhone is DBA (dead before arrival) in India: they are very price conscious so they'll almost always pick a cheap Android phone. Xiaomi is usually the most popular.
The audience that Apple is targeting in India would rather buy it cheaper from Hong Kong, Dubai or other countries when they go for vacations or ask their family members to get it for them as it is much much cheaper to get it from those countries than from India.

The SE must not be selling very well in India. Ironically, my guess is there would be a solid minority of buyers who would love to still get an SE in the U.S.

I wonder what the sales ‘threshold’ is (in units solds) for Apple to continue offering a certain product for sale.
Indians, like most Asian markets, love big phones, which is why most phones that are sold in India are around the 5.7" screen sizes from Xiaomi, OnePlus, Samsung etc.

It’s more than just the price. They prefer brands from companies based in Asia rather than the United States or the Commonwealth countries.

There is still lingering resentment from the years of British oppression they lived through. In the case of the United States it’s guilt by association because the USA originated from British colonies.
Not sure about other Asian countries but you are very wrong about India in that regards. Apple is an aspirational premium brand and people love to flaunt it there but not the old models rather the latest ones.

There are so many phones in India which are as good or better than iPhone's and they sell at 50% less than the price of Iphone.

Apple really needs to release an SE 2 Full screen as big as the current SE or iPhone 6/7/8 and have internals of the iPhone XS or the upcoming 11. That would be the perfect thing.
THIS!
And also, the services from Apple are pathetic in India. Maps is terrible, Apple Music has very less selection of regional content, iCloud is meaningless in a country where internet connection is unstable, Siri is hopeless (well, it is the same worldwide) in comparison to G-Assistant or Alexa. But hopefully with Apple concentrating in a lot of India-centric features in iOS 13, maybe, just maybe they may be able to market it, especially now with the manufacturing of the latest models, which would in turn help them lower the prices by circumventing the import taxes and duties.

Apple really needs to advertise how the processing prowess of their phones are better than the competitors, in a tech-loving country where people love to get the phones with the latest processors and with more RAM. When Xiaomi can come out with a 250 USD Poco F1 with Snapdragon 845 and 6GB of RAM, I don't understand what's holding Apple back with advertising how their A-series are so much more powerful than the Snaps, Kirins and Exynoses.
 
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snoonw

macrumors newbie
Feb 17, 2016
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iPhone is DBA (dead before arrival) in India: they are very price conscious so they'll almost always pick a cheap Android phone. Xiaomi is usually the most popular.
xiaomi mi 9 also has a better camera score then iphone max and its a budget priced phone.
but these dxomark scores i take with a grain of salt i think they are selling the ranking for a price
coz i have compared with real life pics and they dont match
but nothing comes remotely to pixel phones i went to a wedding with 500ppl with 500phones
in toronto and my pics were #1 the most impressive accomplishment of my photographic life
nothing was even remotely as good.
even hauwie maybe paying dxomark money they dont compare to pixel camera
 
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itsmilo

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Sep 15, 2016
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I mean ... it would be pathetic to continue selling a product that cannot even support its upcoming iOS version. It’s sad enough it took them so long. Taking advantage of the poor much.
 

Bawstun

macrumors 68000
Jun 25, 2009
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If someone wants a larger (than 4.7”) iPhone, they’re going to have to fork out for at least a 7 Plus.

The 6s is the new SE, i.e. the smallest, and least expensive iPhone available.
The SE and the iPhone 6S are the same.
[doublepost=1563297969][/doublepost]
I mean ... it would be pathetic to continue selling a product that cannot even support its upcoming iOS version. It’s sad enough it took them so long. Taking advantage of the poor much.
The iPhone SE, 6S and 6S+ are supported through iOS 13.
 

Biu_miu

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Aug 29, 2016
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I wonder why Apple doesn't just make low cost models for these markets? Rather than trying to hock old models at lower prices. Something like a Nokia 7.1 or Moto One and sell them at $350. They'll still have their high profit margin and people may be more apt to buy a new model than a four year old model.
Not even counting the money that would go into designing new, Asia dedicated phone, designing accessories , possibly adapting Appstore, making new factory lines, pushing money into advertising and marketing, integrating Apples ecosystem to work with weaker models, dealing with extra mess and product positions in logistics etc...Apple is just not a brand that will push cheap stuff and chase biggest amounts sold, this is just not their business direction. Apple might use some short term tools to appear affordable, but their shelf price is just what it is. Android fills that “cheaper but sell more position”. It’s like asking, why Maserati doesn’t have cheap models for middle class in India- they just don’t, it’s not their company's strategy lol.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
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They need to engineer a new budget phone, cost money. They need to produce those phones, cost money. They have to maintain a ridiculous amount of profit margins, cost sales.
It makes the most sense for Apple to simply sell older models for “cheap” than trying to design a new phone with moderate specs. Also, even if the device is new, the chip inside is clearly a couple years old, because device Price is slow.
They aren't selling very many of them. As they are trying to get over $400 for a phone which came out four years ago. A phone which can be bought used for 1/3rd the price. In a country where the average annual income is $650 to $1,500 a year (depending on the source you look at) and upper middle class jobs have a salary of $13K to $30K. It's no wonder Apple only sold about 1.8MM iPhones in 2018 in India. It's estimated iPhone sales have crashed 42% in 1Q2019 in India.

It might take some engineering. We aren't talking about a premium phone though. They don't need to develop new tech for a budget phone. They can use the same parts used by Android handset manufacturers to make a nice budget phone. All that really matters is the OS, making drivers and testing. It's not simple but doesn't require anywhere near the R&D budget of a new flagship.

As I gave the Nokia 7.1 and Moto One as examples for specs. These are $200 to $250 phones (retail, unlocked). If Apple can shift these in volume in emerging markets at $300 to $350 respectively. That's a huge profit margin. As those phones will cost less than the $200 to $250 to manufacture. Well within the margin Apple is thought to get on premium models. Perhaps a higher margin.

Of course Apple won't do it. As they won't want to risk those models hurting high end sales. Even if they only sell them in emerging markets. They'll make it to premium markets via grey market importers.

Then again is it even worth it to go after those markets with cheap new models? People who are very cost conscious aren't likely to buy ancillary services, software or premium adapters. About 15% of phone sales are iPhones but they make up about 70% of app developer revenue.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
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It might take some engineering. We aren't talking about a premium phone though. They don't need to develop new tech for a budget phone. They can use the same parts used by Android handset manufacturers to make a nice budget phone. All that really matters is the OS, making drivers and testing. It's not simple but doesn't require anywhere near the R&D budget of a new flagship.
These are some engineering nonetheless and they cannot “just use” materials used by Android device. Tests about those materials need to be made before mass production, and compromises need to be made for lower cost. Considering Apple’s years of experience on producing iPhone with aluminium And the overall failure of iPhone 5c, I highly doubt Apple will adapt to lower end market any more. Heck, I would say designing a new flagship is easier than designing a budget iPhone because Apple has way more experience on that side of the spectrum.
Talking about the compromise, what about the processor? Apple certainly wont use latest and the greatest on their budget iPhone, so they will more than likely put a 3-4 years old processor into that iPhone, meaning even if it is a “new” iPhone it is obsolete already, which is not what Apple want for promised software support.
I do want to say, what you say and what other members say shows a huge gap of understanding of engineering between marketing team and engineering team. It happens very often, though.
 

JosephAW

macrumors 68020
May 14, 2012
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No problem as long as you have something to replace it at the same price point.
 

TeamPixel

macrumors member
May 7, 2019
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Why? most the the people there don't have as much money as everywhere else. hence why apple sells so much less there, and other companies sell 19 million phones because of their lower price point... you must not travel much lol
He must not travel much or purchase iPhones in other countries much, the nerve of that guy
 

sir1963nz

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2012
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I wonder why Apple doesn't just make low cost models for these markets? Rather than trying to hock old models at lower prices. Something like a Nokia 7.1 or Moto One and sell them at $350. They'll still have their high profit margin and people may be more apt to buy a new model than a four year old model.
My son just bought a new 6+, New iPhones are just too expensive.
I have an SE, and my next phone will be an Android, I am simply not paying Apples prices anymore.

Thankfully I have not invested must in iTunes , App Store, or any other part of the "eco system" so I am not trapped there. Its been an excellent learning experience though about the dangers of ecosystems.

I have now bought a RaspberryPi as my intro to Linux.
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2012
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I wonder why Apple doesn't just make low cost models for these markets? Rather than trying to hock old models at lower prices. Something like a Nokia 7.1 or Moto One and sell them at $350. They'll still have their high profit margin and people may be more apt to buy a new model than a four year old model.
Their brand image relies on being on a higher tier company. Cheaper models also means having to support more models and cutting more features from future releases, bringing more fragmentations. That's not to mention the issue of needless cannibalization. Besides, a cheap model would essentially be the internals of a old models, which would make it pointless for apple to retool the outer casing just for India.
 

phusaicr

macrumors newbie
Jul 11, 2018
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Of course Apple won't do it. As they won't want to risk those models hurting high end sales. Even if they only sell them in emerging markets. They'll make it to premium markets via grey market importers.
This.
Avoiding cannibalisation of higher-priced models elsewhere.

I can't imagine engineering, manufacturing and logistics to be the decisive factor for a company that still makes iPod touches, iPad minis, even non-4k Apple TV - which are just 30$ less than the better 4k models.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
20,143
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Gotta be in it to win it
I mean ... it would be pathetic to continue selling a product that cannot even support its upcoming iOS version. It’s sad enough it took them so long. Taking advantage of the poor much.
How does in take advantage if one wants to buy the product. That’s not the definition of taking advantage.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
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This.
Avoiding cannibalisation of higher-priced models elsewhere.

I can't imagine engineering, manufacturing and logistics to be the decisive factor for a company that still makes iPod touches, iPad minis, even non-4k Apple TV - which are just 30$ less than the better 4k models.
It might not be the decisive factor, but it IS a critical factor. Unless Apple uses old iPhone chassis and slightly better internals like iPhone SE, engineering, manufacturing and logistics costs exist. Apple still makes iPod touches iPad minis and non-4K Apple TV because they have built these products before, and related R&D costs are already recovered. Not so much when they want to build a brand new budget iPhone for India.