Apple is set to have an increasingly tough time selling the iPhone in Europe, as consumers become more savvy about how they spend their hard-earned money. Android, with its numerous handsets covering all budgets, will do well from these changing consumer habits, unless, of course, Apple releases its own budget handset.
Apple has achieved much with its iPhone, having (virtually) invented the smartphone as we now recognize this insanely popular form factor. Its market share sky-rocketed as the iPhone became the most desired gadget on the planet. Then Android matured and Apple somewhat lost its stranglehold on the market.
That trend looks set to continue. Not because Apple has somehow lost its way, but because the price the U.S. company is charging for its latest smartphone is too high for many. This is especially true in Europe, where consumers are tightening their belts in order to survive the tough economic times currently suffocating the continent.
France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard told Bloomberg:
“We are in a period of changing consumer behavior. There are fewer early adopters, and probably with the next release of the iPhone this will be evident. Selling a phone for $600 is getting more and more difficult.”
The problem for Apple isn’t that people don’t want smartphones, but that they don’t want to (or aren’t able to) pay the high asking price some smartphones carry. While there are alternatives for those who like the Android operating system, iPhone fans have a distinct lack of options when it comes to upgrading.
There has been intense speculation of late that Apple was preparing to launch a cheaper iPhone to cater to those on a budget. It’s now very clear to see why this might be the case, and sooner rather than later. Consumers have always responded well to choice, and currently Apple is severely lacking in that department.