How India Is Different Than China

Ben Thompson, regarding the aforelinked Bloomberg piece on Apple selling the iPhone 4 in India:

Ultimately, I think these numbers confirm my hypothesis: Apple is indeed the preferred vendor for people at the top of the market, but because the iPhone is priced (about) the same everywhere in the world, its market share is a function of a country’s average income and the way in which that income is distributed.

To be fair, this is hardly a controversial thesis: the more pertinent takeaway is that as long as Apple has globally available iPhones (which I don’t think will ever change), the chief constraint on Apple going downmarket in countries like India is the risk of forgoing profits in countries like China or in the West, both of which have plenty of people who can afford Apple’s prices. That’s why I continue to doubt we’ll see Apple abandon its lower-cost iPhone = old iPhone strategy in favor of releasing a new-to-the-world low cost device.

Friday, 8 August 2014