Will The iPhone 5C Help Apple’s Global Sales?
In the US, and in much of the world, the iPhone is king. Whatever the latest version of the handset is has been the best-selling phone for years, often jockeying for that distinction with whatever the latest model of the Samsung Galaxy is. But in terms of total handsets sold, Apple continues to lag behind Samsung and even Nokia, which dominate in many overseas markets. Could Apple’s rumored, cheaper “iPhone 5C” change that?
Writing in TechCrunch, Romain Dillet explains how European carriers long ago abandoned the “subsidized phone” model that has helped pricier devices like the iPhone thrive:
Instead of seducing customers with cheap subsidized phones, young and scrappy carriers like Free chose to lure customers away from expensive plans, and it worked. These new plans weren’t just marginally cheaper, they were one-half to one-third the cost.
But the real prize is China. Cellphones are incredibly popular in Asia, where landlines weren’t always availble, allowing cellphone infrastructure to storm in during the last few decades. And with 1.1 billion potential customers and a burgeoning middle class, China is a target for all retailers- including phone makers.
According to The Guardian, more than a third of all global smartphones are sold in China- and manufacturers like Xiaomi, which are unheard of in the West, are outselling Apple in that country.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5C, with a plastic (not glass) body, on Sept. 10, and retail it for up to $250 less than its latest iPhone models.