According to a recent report from 9to5Mac, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is all set to push Android users to iPhone retail stores with its exchange and recycling offer, now being extended to Blackberry users as well. The news spread like fire as CEO Tim Cook announced the next plan of giving a gift card to Android users in exchange of their second-hand Android phones after the record-breaking sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in its first fiscal quarter of 2015.
These Apple gift cards can be used at any iPhone retail stores to purchase an iPhone. Previously, Apple had limited everything, even the exchange and recycling program only to Apple users. Apple originally launched the trade-in program in 2013 to boost the sales of iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Apple users would require filling in few answers that would verify whether their old Apple device is qualified for a recycle and reuse program. Last summer, a new version of this program was churned out for iPad mainly.
Android users can exchange their Android phones. However, the price of the gift card will depend on the condition, age, and functionality of the Android phone. Either Apple retail store employees will be determining the price of the Android phones brought for exchange or its recycling partner Brightstar will take up the ownership in determining the value
So, why Apple has extended its Program to its arch Rivals?
We couldn’t help but wonder why Apple decided to extend its exclusive Apple exchange and reuse program to its arch rivals-Android and Blackberry? Not more than four years ago, the Visionary founder Steve Jobs negated the effect of large screens, indirectly hitting out its fierce rival Samsung on face. However, the Q1 2015 reports of Apple Sales show iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have created a rage in the i-market, with people streaming in to buy the 4-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5 inch iPhone 6 plus. Apple has reported sold 74.5 million units of iPhone in the first quarter itself. While declaring the first fiscal quarter earnings Tim Cook had claimed that the Q1 had seen the largest switch from Android to iPhone in comparison to last three years. Analysts had an expectation of sales between 61 million and 71.5 million, but Apple superseded all expectations in the beginning of this year.
In the last quarter of 2014, tables turned, with Apple taking over Android, although negligible, but by 0.1%. According to the latest data on Smartphone sales in the US, China, Europe, Australia, Japan in Q4 2014 from Kantar, this the first time in three years that Apple beat Android and has become the lead in Smartphone market in terms of sales.
We believe, Tim Cook’s recent move to lure more android users have its root in this success story. Previously, Apple had hit the lawsuit with its message delivery issues. Any message sent from an iDevice to a non-apple device, remained undelivered. Along with that, people who switched from Apple to Android faced this same problem. Apple believed in exclusivity and in doing so, it had turned off a lot of i-Users even! The latest Q3 2014 report by Opera MediaWorks revealed that Android maintained its lead over iOS market in mobile traffic with 57.6% share, indicating a rise of 8% from the previous quarter. Hence, the last quarter report of 2014 sums up to the fact that Apple lagged behind Google in terms of Mobile Ad Impressions Market but still took lead in terms of revenue at the year-end. With the revenue gap of Android and Apple narrowing down, thanks to iPhone 6 and 6 plus, we can only wait for the competition to get fiercer.
Android, with its free to use platform is ever evolving. The big daddies of mobile industry are trying to monetize this platform as well as possible, by churning out mobile phones at prices we never thought off. However, Apple’s Q1 2015 reports and new exchange and reuse program for android and Blackberry users, seems to be a new challenge lurking in the mobile market.
Will Apple’s Exchange and Reuse program for non-Apple users affect its rivals?
Steve Jobs maintained Apple to be exclusive, and so did we. While he did not think large screen could trigger the market, Tim Cook proved it real-time that large screens did attract buyers. Now by initiating exchange program for non-apple users and giving gift cards to use to purchase iPhones, we can expect more switching to iPhones from android. Apple is all set to increase the 0.1% gap with Android, and retain its lead position. However, thinking that Google will sit silently would be foolish. Sundar Pichai, who runs Google Android, confirmed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Google is all set to begin experimenting with wireless service, for which you need to have an android device.
While Apple has released a step-by-step guide on how to switch from android to iPhone and backup all data, Google is busy building a phone service that will guide phone companies on how to use a phone! Pichai quoted on TechCrunch
“We are thinking about how Wi-Fi and cell networks work together and how to make that seamless”.
Analysts have predicted big revenue numbers in the second quarter of 2015, as per the reports from Business Korea. USB claims the sales to reach 58 million, while Morgan Stanley and Barclays bet for sales of 54 million units.
For all, Apple is now busy training its employees for this new roll out. While training is in full swing at Apple House, we patiently wait for this exchange program to get announced officially as well as a lookout for the announcement of the second quarter earnings by Apple.