THE RISE OF APPLE: In 2011, when Apple launched the iPhone 3G, it was revolutionary and instantly made some heads turn. Since then, iPhone sales slowly and steadily clinched up and in 2016 with the launch of the iPhone 6, it reached the peak. iPhone 6 had an aesthetic design and stellar performance. It went on to become the best-selling phone in the history of the company. The price of the device was very high but the customers didn’t mind it as the phone provided great value.
This is the stage when Apple was at its peak. All their devices have minor problems but the people accepted them with all their heart and soul. Apple has garnered a trendsetting image that is visible from the introduction of fingerprint scanners, full-screen displays, face recognition systems, and lack of headphone jack. Some of these trends were loved whereas others became the focal point of hate.
Apple has created an ecosystem of various devices which allows the user to access data stored on any Apple device from any other Apple device. Such seamless connectivity is what makes Apple so special and an iPhone is the first step of a person into the Apple ecosystem.
WHERE APPLE IS LAGGING
The main problem is that Apple is a late mover in the market. It waits for other manufacturers to bring in technology and refine it. When the technology becomes ripe, they use it in their devices and especially in iPhones. There is nothing wrong with it but that goes on to show that Apple is scared of trying new things with their devices.
The iPhone 6 was stellar but every other iPhone after that was pretty much the same with a few spec bumps. When the iPhone 7 launched, the design was exactly the same but Apple did get rid of the headphone jack. It was rumored that this was Apple’s tactic to earn more money by selling propriety earphones whereas others argued that it was necessary to make the phone water-resistant.
We saw some competitors launch phones at that time which kept the headphone jack and were water-resistant at the same time. iPhone 7 was a great phone but there was nothing to excited about. A year later, iPhone 8 came out and the fans were disappointed with Apple this time around. The design felt old and bland at this point and it was inarguably the worst phone Apple ever made. The phone didn’t do well at all and the sales plummeted to an all-time low.
People were now looking forward to iPhone X. The pre-launch renders of the phone revealed that this time around, Apple will be getting rid of their home button to get a full-screen display. It was indeed the case and Apple came out with a notch on top of the device which housed the front-facing camera and all other necessary sensors. The notch was not well received but the phone was good and the only concern people had was the price.
The iPhone X started at a staggering $999 and went all the way up to $1500 for the maxed-out version. The problem here is that the phone doesn’t provide a lot of value to the customers. There is no doubt that the phone is good but the price is not justified. It is not twice as good as a $500 phone. A phone priced $1500 should be able to do twice as good as what a $500 phone does and more which it is not.
Apple brand has become a symbol of luxury at this point and a large majority of the price customers pay is for that Apple logo. Apple also launched the iPhone XR with a lower screen resolution and a single camera at the back at $700. It really hurts when Apple calls a $700 phone cheap which packs old hardware.
PEOPLE SWITCHING TO ANDROID DEVICES
Apple and Samsung are in a tight spot now. Most of Apple’s pain is self-inflicted as the price point of their devices is at a crazy high level. Samsung is finding it tough to maintain their market position with so many Chinese mobile phone companies around. One major cause of people switching to Android devices in countries like India and China is the value provided by them. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Apple to survive in such markets where people look for value. Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Nokia, and Huawei have played a significant role in bringing down iPhone sales in the world.
It has been found that a quarter of iPhone X users have already switched to flagship devices from Samsung and Huawei. OnePlus is also creeping up there in the premium phone territory and will pose a major threat to Samsung and Apple. The value that OnePlus provides is truly amazing and this is the reason why the company has grown so fast.
Huawei became the number one selling brand for a brief while in 2018 and Apple was pushed to the 3rd position for the first time in nearly 8 years. However, Huawei lost this position to Samsung after Trump imposed the trade ban with Huawei. iPhone loyalty plummeted to an all-time low in 2017 and Apple knows it very well. CEO Tim Cook released a statement where he indicated that Apple might rethink its pricing strategy for the new iPhone 11 to be released this September.