I personally never felt the “need” to have the latest smartphone in my pocket. I neither do buy smartphones every year nor do encourage anyone to buy the newest model. The reason is simple, get the most out for your bucks. You can do that either buying a mid-level fairly priced Android based smartphone or buying an premium class iPhone and use it for longer period of time. I chose latter one.
To me, smartphone is just another communication device to get some of my works done besides making phone call or sending text messages. However, I think all most all the smartphones now a days are capable of doing way more than whatever an average consumer might expect from a smartphone. It’s both good and bad at the same time. It is good because we are familiarizing ourselves with newer technologies, learning new ways to become more productive and so on. It’s bad at the same time because I firmly don’t believe that average users are taking the full advantage of their devices and it’s capabilities. They are not doing this willingly, fact of the matter is many of us really don’t know how to get the most out of our smartphones. In other words you can call it a waste of resources, at least to me that’s what it is.
While I appreciate Apple’s contribution to the Mobile Industry I also hate certain things about them. Perhaps the biggest complain that I have is about the price tag of their products. Back in 2014, Time Magazine reported that the actual manufacturing cost of a 16GB iPhone 6 is only about $200 which is currently on sale for $649 from Apple’s website. The iPhone 6 Plus with similar capacity which is $100 more than the regular iPhone 6, costs only about $15.50 extra over the regular iPhone 6. International Business Times also published similar article while comparing iPhone 6 Plus with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge of similar capacity (64GB). Price differences between Apple iPhones and other manufacturer’s smartphones are even higher.
I am not saying iPhones are bad or complaining about the quality of the product. Contrary to that I believe iPhones are among the best smartphones you can find in the market. The same way it’s also true that they are highly over-priced compared to the hardware that they are providing. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Apple and I use some of their products on day to day basis as well. Yet I still think that their smartphones are expensive and consumers don’t get the most of out of their bucks. One can easily question my argument that if I am right on that how possibly Apple could still be in Business or making huge profit? Good question indeed. Perhaps the answer of your question relies on the very basic idea of Economics. Besides Supply and Demand, its more about consumer’s purchasing power and preferences that has lot to do with the Apple’s success story. Perhaps that’s just one big important reason why Apple managed to grab large market share in the Developed nations compared to the rest of the World.
Latest report indicates that Apple’s market share in the developed nations are declining or at least not as good as it used to be. Both the IMF and the World Bank predicts that the World economic growth will continue to rise but it would be slow. However, the developing nations would see fairly good growth in 2015-2017.
Global Economic Growth Prediction by IMF.
These developing nations are also considered to be the emerging market for Smartphone industry. If that is the reality, Apple would definitely be loosing big chunk of the market share on upcoming years if the price tag remains the same. I want Apple to grow and for that they must consider the emerging markets and compete with other large smartphone manufacturers. Without slashing the price tag or launching low-end smartphone product line, how possibly Apple can achieve such success in those markets is something to watch out for.