The fascination for Apple iPhone among Android smartphone users has been noticed in various studies conducted at regular intervals. In spite of that iPhone could never challenge Android’s dominance as a majority of Android smartphone users maintained an awful distance from the smartphone that is no less than a style statement, besides being a productive tool, nowadays.
The market equation, however, could change soon!
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has
already announced the launch date of its finally launched much-awaited iPhone 12 yesterday. After a month-long delay, the world was eagerly awaiting to have a first look of the device on October 13. Unlike before, Apple is gearing up for a has surprised everyone that should make all the Android smartphone manufacturers anxious, and it’s not just the price of iPhone 12.
While the official launch is still a week away, rumours are making rounds that Apple is all set to unveil four variants of iPhone 12 this year. Along with traditional style iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, the Cupertino giant is all set to surprise the world with the low-price iPhone 12 Mini.
The leaks claim that Apple has planned to tag iPhone 12 Mini with $699 onwards. The jaw-dropping price of iPhone 12 Mini is primarily aimed at smartphone users outside Apple’s home market where the company is yet to capture a sizeable share of the market.
Developing markets, especially India and Africa where Android is dominated by getting benefited from the price-sensitive nature of users, are yet to respond to iPhone the way Apple expected. Just to put things in context, Apple iPhone accounts for just 2% of India smartphone market which is the world’s second-largest mobile phone market after China. It’s reported that Apple is leaving no stone unturned and cutting all possible corners to keep the price of iPhone 12 Mini as lucrative as possible in India. The recent launch of Apple store, albeit online, is a step towards having a direct presence in the country and to woo the government which is offerings various benefits to companies setting up base in India.
If Apple manages to pull all right cords, the price of iPhone 12 Mini will not shoot up above Rs 56,000, which is quite a lucrative offer considering the exorbitant pricing strategy Apple’s has been employing for long.
This will also put iPhone 12 Mini in direct competition to Android-based premium devices that have been dominating the market for the last few quarters. With the launch of iPhone 12 Mini tagged with less than Rs 70,000, Apple is aiming to eat into the market of OnePlus and Samsung, the two largest shareholders in the premium segment (between Rs 40k – Rs 60k). Samsung and OnePlus, together, captured nearly 60% of premium smartphone shipments in India during Q2 2020. Apple, on other hand, fell to the third spot and the majority of the sales in India was driven by comparatively low priced iPhone 11 and iPhone SE.
With the launch of iPhone 12 Mini at less than Rs 60,000 Apple could directly compete with OnePlus 8, Vivo V19 and Samsung Galaxy A71 – the top three most selling premium devices during Q2 2020.
But the price of iPhone 12 Mini is not the only factor that has irked Android users who have invested a significant amount in their smartphone to have a premium experience.
According to another study from SellCell, an online marketplace, a sizeable number of Android users are ready to jump off the ship.
The website surveyed 2,000 US smartphone users owning an Android device to check the brand loyalty. Surprisingly, 33% of respondents confirmed that they are all set to ditch Android for iPhone 12.
Despite the fact that iPhone is yet to offer many premium features – in-screen fingerprint security and high refresh rate – that Android users are already enjoying, Android smartphone users seem to be quite irritated with poor software support and security issues with Android devices.
Most Android manufacturers offer 2-3 years of major software updates before they start ignoring those devices and leave users of those users on their own. In contrast, Apple iPhone users continue to enjoy all the latest updates and OS exactly at the same time, irrespective of their models and duration. To put things in context, the recently launched iOS 14 is available for users owning iPhone 6S – the device launched by Apple 5 years ago.
No wonder, 55% of those who are ready to switch to iPhone 12 cited longer software support as the prime reason behind their decision.
Privacy protection is the second most important reason Android smartphone users are switching to iPhone 12 for. Besides, 37% of displeased Android smartphone users reasoned Compact form factor the third most important element that has influenced their decision to ditch Android.
The trend outside the US is no different; especially in India where owning iPhone is more of a style statement than a productivity tool.
There are over 2.2 billion Android users worldwide, and taking a cue from SellCell study if we believe that only 10% of those get attracted towards iPhone 12 Mini, it going to be a big loss for Android.
Besides, nearly 350 million iPhone users are statically due for an upgrade this year. With a wider range of iPhone 12 to choose from this year, it’s quite likely that a negligible share of iPhone users will ditch Apple for Android.
All said and done, Apple is all set for a big gain from the launch of four variants of iPhone 12. Apple has strategically planned iPhone 12 variants to appease almost every segment that could afford to have a better experience of smartphone, be it Android or iOS.
Going further, for Android smartphone manufacturers, especially OnePlus, Samsung, Vivo and those who have started focusing on the Indian premium smartphone market recently, it’s going to be a tough fight to win.
Apple is leaving no stone unturned to give every competitor run for their money. It would be interesting to see if the world’s most valuable publicly traded tech company can replicate the magic it has created in the US and China in other markets as well. A lot depends on iPhone 12 Mini.
Do you think that iPhone 12 Mini can live up to the expectations and lure a sizeable number of Android smartphone users? Do let us know your views in the comment section below.