Apple withdraws iPhone 4 from India. Again.

apple-india-map

Less than four months after relaunching the iPhone 4 in India, Apple has decided to ditch the strategy and take the phone off the market again.

The January move had made the iPhone 4 one of the cheapest unsubsidized iPhones in the world, with the aim of growing market share by appealing to a percentage of the population who would not usually be able to afford iPhones.

But Apple discovered what is known in the trade (or, well, by me) as the Android Gambit: meaning that flooding the market with low-cost smartphones might result in more people buying them, but it also takes a massive chunk out of your profit margins. In this case, it meant a reported $41 drop globally in the average selling price of the iPhone to $596 in Q1, which analysts partly blamed on the relaunch of the iPhone 4 in emerging markets.

Tim Cook, however, refuted this by stating that the impact of the iPhone 4 was minimal as Apple sold “a very low single-digit percentage of those” in the quarter.

By dropping the iPhone 4 altogether, Apple is hoping that customers will cough up the extra cash to move up to a more expensive, newer model. To avoid writing the whole strategy off as a failure, however, the company is claiming that the iPhone 4 exposed new customers to Apple’s smartphones, and that they will now be unlikely to go elsewhere.

Overall, it just goes to show that Apple shouldn’t listen to the noise about market share, and should instead focus on targeting the higher-end buyers the company appeals to best.

Android-makers copy Apple and they get the iPhone. Apple copies Android-makers and they get a crummy business model.

  • iWill slb

    Why would apple sell the iPhone 4? Unless it comes with iOS 6 cause everyone I know that has an iPhone 4 with iOS 7 is not satisfied at all. Even 4S is kind of slow with iOS 7. Not to mention all the bugs, I have an iPhone 5, iPad 3 and iPad mini 2. iPad 3 is dog slow, not smooth at all. iPhone 5 and iPad mini 2 are fast but very buggy. iPhone even restarts by itself. I made my parents buy an iPhone but since iOS 7 they are not happy at all with frequent bugs. What happened to apple?! Poor Steve, he worked so hard for this. iOS 7 could be great. But apparently they can’t make it stable, what the hell….

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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