Sales is the toughest domain. Falling market share and sales makes one do the unimaginable, even resurrect the dead. And Apple is no stranger to such things.
Facing stiff competition from cheaper rivals selling the Windows phones and the market leader Android with Samsung, Micromax and others, Apple is now bringing back its once-upon-a-time-miracle phone to rev up its sales.
Apple had launched its seventh generation iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C smartphones a few months ago and now reportedly relaunching the 8 GB version of its four years old phone, the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 was discontinued after the launch of 5 and 5S last year.
Apple’s share in the Indian smartphone market peaked to more than 4% in October-December 2012 and January-March 2013 before dwindling to 1.4% in October 2013, according to CMR data. Samsung’s share, in contrast, rose to a whopping 42% from 33% in the same period.
What’s on offer?
A buyback scheme for the 8GB variant – the customers can trade-in their smartphones in order to receive Rs 5,000 (minimum) discount on iPhone 4 8GB and should be available for around 15k. The old retail price was Rs. 26,500.
The Apple iPhone 4 comes with a 3.5 inch display with 960×640 pixels resolution. It has a single SIM slot, a 5 megapixel rear camera, 0.3 megapixel front camera, and a 1420 mAh battery that claims to provide 7 hours of 3G talktime. This 3G ready phone also supports WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 and a 3.5 mm jack.
Substitutes in 15k
Android based smartphone have better and bigger screen including the much acclaimed full HD resolution and the world class Corning Gorilla Glass.
Also, some of them have quad core processor (even Tegra 3 which is considered one of the best gaming processor) against the 1 GHz cortex A8 single core processor of iPhone 4. Many even come with 5 megapixel front camera and 12 megapixel rear camera and much long lasting battery.
India as dumping ground or a logical decision?
iPhone 4 has lost favour in most of the developed countries and it seems that India is like a dumping ground for Apple which has again and again said that it will not compromise on quality to bring low cost devices.
So it is quite logical for the company to bring its outdated devices to India at a lesser price point. Earlier, Apple had even launched a buy-back scheme to push up the sales of its iPhone 4 where on exchange of older smartphones one would get Rs 7,000 discount on a new iPhone 4.
Since Apple stopped production of the iPhone 4 last August-September, the company is likely to dispose off and clear unsold inventory of the model from around the globe for the Indian market!
Did discontinuing it backfire?
The company’s decision to stop selling the 8GB iPhone 4 in the last quarter to push its latest devices helped the company gain value share but meant ceding ground in unit sales, with the 5C not reaching expected numbers and the company having no presence in the crucial sub- 30,000 segment.
Apple’s iPhone 4 8GB model used to rank amongst the top three selling models by unit sales and fight neck and neck with Samsung, but with its exit the company lost much ground.
Who will buy it?
With the latest iOS 7 still working without major hiccups on the iPhone 4, the model is still worth buying. But only for those who will be using it as a product to flaunt, as a phone purely to call and chat or as a second phone. This will make the dreams come true for tens of thousands of tech-savvy people who always wanted the premium iPhone but could never afford it.
But the drawback is you would never be able to play high-end games on this model.
For a few Apple crazy fans, who could not own an iPhone due to it’s price may surely find this offer enticing. But again, think how age old an iPhone 4 may look only 12 months down the line!
So, do you think you may go for it?