Reports that Apple has restarted production of the discontinued iPhone 4 throws new light on the company’s performance in emerging markets. According to India’s Economic Times, the three-year-old iPhone 4 will be resurrected for consumers in India, Indonesia, and Brazil.
As earnings reports for the fourth quarter of 2013 show, these are troublesome markets for Apple. The company registered -9% growth in India and South East Asia, making APAC the worst performing market for Apple worldwide if discounting the big-spending markets of China and Japan. In Brazil, Apple’s smartphone market share has plummeted in the face of Android alternatives.
So what’s behind Apple’s sluggish performance in emerging markets? And can the iPhone 4 be the emerging market Apple smartphone that the 5c was supposed to be?
At the beginning of a new quarter, Jana surveyed users in India, Indonesia, and Brazil to see where they plan to spend their mobile budget in 2014.
“What brand of mobile phone will you buy next?”
While Samsung and Nokia retain their appeal in the minds of consumers, the niche appeal and high cost of the iPhone makes Apple particularly vulnerable to the rise of cheaper producers, such as Micromax in India.
“What is the most you would spend on a new mobile phone?”
Apple is the only major brand that doesn’t currently offer a smartphone product within the price expectations of most respondents.
“Why will you buy this brand of mobile phone?”
Respondents that favor Samsung, Nokia, and local brands see them as high-quality and low-cost. Those that favor Apple frequently refer to iPhones as luxury or fashion items.
20, male, India: “Because of its performance, features, and trust”
24, female, Indonesia: “Relatively cheap price and a good quality product”
24, male, Brazil: “It is one of the best brands in Brazil”
18, male, India: “It’s good and it lasts long”
18, male, Indonesia: “I love the colors and I want to try a Windows phone”
19, male, Brazil: “I like the durability of the battery”
18, male, India: “It’s cheap and has good features”
18, male, India: “It has good software support”
23, female, India: “It’s my dream phone”
20, male, Indonesia: “The Apple brand is highly desirable and it has a very satisfying appearance”
20, female, Brazil: “It is one of the best brands at the moment”
Will the iPhone 4 give consumers in India, Indonesia, and Brazil what they are looking for? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter: @Jana