Pessimistic analysts miss the point of iPhone 6c

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An iPhone 6c concept.
Coming soon to a pocket near you?
Photo: iPhonesoft

The much-rumored iPhone 6c won’t be enough to let Apple compete for marketshare with super-low-cost Android smartphone makers, claims analyst group IDC — a.k.a. commentators who appear to have totally misunderstood Apple’s entire business model.

“Even if Apple were to introduce another low-cost iPhone (e.g. ‘C’ version), IDC believes the price will struggle to compete with Android OEMs that are focused on portfolios aimed at price points of $200 and less,” the group said in a report.

While it is true that Apple will likely always struggle to compete with low-cost handset makers, it is misleading to characterize this as Apple’s strategy. The iPhone 5c demonstrated that Apple had no plans to make a low-cost iPhone, and I can’t see that changing with the iPhone 6c and its rumors of Touch ID, Apple Pay and a sleek metal form factor — none of which the 5c had.

Apple disastrously chased marketshare with its Macs during the late 1990s (which you may know as the period in which Apple wound up being days from bankruptcy), and has never seriously pursued this with its iPhones. The profit margins on low-end phones is negligible, their customers don’t buy apps, and they almost certainly won’t be sucked into the Apple ecosystem due to the higher cost of entry.

If Apple makes an iPhone 6c, it makes far more sense for it to be a premium device with a 4-inch display, rather than a handset which forces customers who want a 4-inch phone to settle for something less-than-premium.

If it can be an entry level phone for hooking younger customers, a la the iPod touch, then all the better — but anyone expecting a $150 iPhone will be sorely disappointed.

IDC’s other reported figures are interesting, however. According to the firm, iOS shipments are likely to grow from 192.7 million in 2014 to 269.6 million in 2019.

Provided those figures are any more accurate than IDC’s view of Apple’s business model, that is.

Source: The Inquirer