by Anton Shilov
01/10/2013 | 11:23 PM
Despite of increasing competition on the market of smartphones and shrinking market share of Apple’s iOS platform, the company will not develop a special low-cost version of its iPhone to grab market share, said a high-ranking executive of Apple. In fact, this is not the first time, when Apple denies intentions to create lower-cost products, but such a denial should usually be considered as “never say never”.
“Originally, many in the Chinese market used feature phones (regular wireless phones). But now a few companies are starting to use cheap smartphones to take the place of feature phones. But this is not a direction that we want to be heading in with our products,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, in an interview with Chinese-language Shanghai Evening News, reports Reuters news-agency.
Earlier this week a rumour transpired that Apple was working on a version of iPhone made of cheaper materials and featuring lower-priced components. The inexpensive handset was claimed to be aimed at the mass market of smartphones in developed countries as well as at the emerging markets. As it appears, Apple has no plans to create a cheap iPhone.
Back in the days, Apple did create low-end versions of its products to generate sales on the entry-level markets. For example, Apple still offers iPod shuffle music players as well as Mac mini personal computers, both were designed from the ground up to be inexpensive thanks to numerous trade-offs.
However, in the recent years Apple changed the tactics of approaching the low-end of the market. The company lowered default prices on certain products designed for consumers (MacBook Air); slashed prices on previous-generation products and did not discontinue them after new models hit the market (iPhone, iPad 9.7”); or introduced products that allowed the company to enter new market segments, but were not necessarily cheap (iPad mini).
Theoretically, Apple could split iPhone product line into two: one designed for consumers looking for maximum style and not the latest technologies (akin to MacBook Air), another for consumers demanding maximum performance and latest features (akin to MacBook Pro).
In a bid to maintain its success, Apple must sell more products every year. In a bid to do that, Apple should either enter new markets (e.g. open stores in new countries) or tailor its product lines to better respond to new challenges and market realities.