There was a rumour about Apple reintroducing iPhone 4 in India a couple of days back. When a friend told me, I was hoping this would not happen.
Today, I woke up to the news of Apple reintroducing iPhone 4. That too on the front page of newspaper.
A full page advertisement showing iPhone 4 and iOS 6! And on the back side, iPhone 4S (forgetting to even mention the 5S and 5C!).
I know that Apple is looking to increase presence in Indian market. But if selling a 4 year old phone for Rs. 22,900 (~$370) is their idea of competing, they are on a wrong path.
Meet Your First iPhone, Sluggish and Slow
I am a big Apple fan. But this strategy is plain idiotic. Just take a look at the specifications of iPhone 4:
- A4 Processor. 1 GHz, single core
- 512 MB RAM
- 3.5 inch retina display
No matter how big a fan someone is, no one will buy an iPhone 4 for this price. And before you toss “Apple does not compete on specs” argument, I have seen iOS 7 working on iPhone 4 and I own a 4S. The experience on 4S is good at times but on 4, it is terrible!
The most worrying thing that I see here is that Apple is focusing on getting customers based on price. I think this will not end well. iPhones are generally snappy and fast and this is one of the main selling points. But if someone gets iPhone 4 as their first iPhone, they are going to have a terrible experience!
Apple is known for focus on quality and user experience. But by selling older model that will not work well, they are compromising this. Now, I am a big Apple fanboy, but only thing that comes to mind is:
This may be their first step towards death. Maybe this time, Apple will actually die.
Competitors Have Everything Better, For Much Lower Price
I am not an expert in economics and pricing but I know Indian market well. Older models are not going to sell well here, especially when there is lot of competition from other platforms.
Nokia’s Lumia and Asha budget ranges have been selling well recently and I have seen many people with them. Nokia knows the market well and has introduced phone at great price points.
An unlocked smartphone (Lumia 520) for Rs. 8000(~$129)? You can’t get better than that! Especially with Nokia’s name on it (meaning it has good hardware. Older Nokias were famous for working even after being smashed on wall!)
Reducing Prices May Be The Answer
If Apple wants to compete in India, what will work is reducing prices. For iPhone 5S, the sweet price will be Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 44,000 (~$711).
iPhone 5C will be best at Rs. 29,000 to Rs. 34,000(~$549).
And least expensive iPhone 4S will be best at Rs. 19,000 to Rs. 22,000.
While I hope that this is just a one small misstep, I can’t help but worry about the direction Apple is taking.