It’s not an alien fact that Apple’s iPhones are priced on the extreme side of the spectrum and are, therefore, getting out of reach for a majority of the consumers. The latest iPhone XS and the iPhone XR models bring great performance, with latter offering new colour choices to woo customers, but the higher price for both the models make them exclusive to those with deeper pockets. The increase in price has had an effect on the reception of the iPhone as an entity, which has eventually pushed Apple under Samsung and OnePlus in terms of overall sales in India.
According to the latest data from Counterpoint Research, Apple hasn’t managed to sell enough units of the new iPhone as expected. Overall sales could fall from 2017's estimated 3 million units to 2 million, as reported to Reuters. The local userbase of iPhones has been forecast to drop at least 10 per cent, i.e. by 9 million. In contrast, there are a total of 436 million active Android users.
It is assumed that most of the iPhone sales this festive season can be attributed to older models selling at slightly affordable prices. The iPhone 7 is now officially the cheapest device one could buy, with prices starting at around Rs 40,000. Apple was initially manufacturing the iPhone SE and the iPhone 6S in India, which helped it bring down the prices by a considerable margin. However, the flagship models are still imported into the country, which eventually swells the prices courtesy of all the import duties and taxes.
"Apple doesn't have enough confidence... in the Indian manufacturing system right now, to set up plants and move some of the manufacturing out of China," commented IDC analyst Navkendar Singh. "In the process, they are losing around 15-20 per cent of their tax incentive... which they could have passed on to the consumer.”
The higher average prices for iPhones have led most of the userbase to migrate to affordable Android options. OnePlus, a Chinese firm selling flagship-grade phones at midrange prices has been drawing major migration from iPhones. Their latest OnePlus 6T offers new technologies such as in-display fingerprint sensor and big display with a tiny notch. OnePlus devices are also known to deliver extremely fast performance on a daily basis. And it costs half of what an iPhone XR costs. In fact, at a price similar to the 2-years-old iPhone 7, OnePlus delivers the latest in the world of Android with a premium build and fast performance.
That said, Apple exclusive brand image still holds it as an aspirational brand and with an extensively longer software support cycle, every iPhone is at least supported up to four years, which double than that of what Android manufacturers offer. The only way Apple could now regain its market share is by going for competitive pricing strategies, considering rivals from the Android universe are coming up with innovative technologies at cheaper prices.