Apple Resells iPhone 4 in Indonesia, India and Brazil
February 5, 2014 in iPhone News & Rumors by
Apple is bringing back the discontinued iPhone 4 as a low cost option for customers in India, Brazil, and Indonesia and resells iPhone 4 as cheaper phone model in affordable price points to recoup market share in those countries.
Citing three senior executives with knowledge of Apple’s plans, the company decided to start selling the older model in those markets to hit a more affordable price point. Apple is betting the lower price point will help it wrest volumes from Samsung’s Grand and S4 Mini, and recoup market share that has slumped, simply because Apple didn’t have cheaper phones in affordable price points like its competitor do.
And it marks the first time Apple has restarted production of a discontinued product.
Apple’s Foxconn vendor in China has restarted production of the iPhone 4 just for Indonesia, Brazil, and India, according to the sources.
Fresh iPhone 4 stocks, which have reached retail stores in India last months 10 days, bear a December 2013 manufacturing date. Trade partners have been informed that new arrivals, reaching next week, would have been manufactured in January. The iPhone 4 production capacity could not be ascertained, but trade estimates put the number of phones that came to India in the first phase at 50,000-60,000.
All of which explains why Apple would be willing to do something as out of character as to bring back an older model. According to a recent forecast, Indians will buy roughly 225 million smartphones in 2014, where 92% of them will be to first-time buyers.
Brazil and Indonesia will between them buy nearly 100 million smartphones.
Many of these new customers will know and admire Apple, and a phone priced at Rs 20,000 ($320) might be just the thing to turn them into Apple loyalists for their long lives as consumers of phones and apps. Or it might not. These consumers also have a wealth of options, including new, much cheaper devices from Samsung and LG, many local manufacturers selling cheap phones with all the bells and whistles, and new entrants such as HP.
And so, Apple has seen its market share drop in the country. So re-introducing the iPhone 4 at somewhere around $250 in order to try to attract more users makes sense.
The iPhone 4 can technically run iOS 7, but users have found performance to be lacking and tend not to react very well to iOS 7, the latest iOS version available. That simply means that iPhone 4 phones will either work badly or run on the very different-looking iOS 6, emphasizing how old they are.
Either way, consumers in India, Brazil and Indonesia will have to make a choice between a four-year-old phone from Apple and a powerful new one from a less desirable brand. It will be a test of Apple’s marketing prowess.
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