The iPhone in India

Bianca Vázquez Toness, reporting for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc., which has struggled in emerging markets because of the price of its new iPhones, has devised a strategy for India that’s starting to pay off: It’s pushing older models that offer cachet at affordable prices.

The iPhone 4, which was released in the U.S. in June 2010, is still available. So is the iPhone 4s that went on sale in October 2011.

“You flaunt an iPhone, but you don’t flaunt an Android,” said Punit Mathur, a 42-year-old vice president of a digital media company who switched to a new iPhone 4s from a Nexus 4. An iPhone 5s that would cost 53,500 rupees ($874) is too expensive, “but the 4s is still an upgrade,” he said.

That’s one quote from one guy, and I’m sure there are literally millions of Indian mobile phone buyers who have no desire to “flaunt” an iPhone, who genuinely prefer Android, etc. But there are millions of people who do see the iPhone — even older ones — as carrying a prestige.

For developers, though, this strategy means supporting older hardware for years longer than we’ve been used to here in the U.S., at least for apps targeting a worldwide audience.

Friday, 8 August 2014