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Apple has reportedly resumed iPhone 4 production for sale in developing markets

post #1 of 45
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A report on Tuesday claims Apple has returned the discontinued iPhone 4 to production, though the three-generation-old handsets will be available only to very specific markets in India, Indonesia and Brazil.

India


Citing three senior executives with knowledge of Apple's plans, The Economic Times claims the company is looking to shoehorn its way back into the burgeoning markets as sales slid due to a lack of low-priced models.

Lending credence to the rumored factory restart are recent shipments of iPhone 4 models bearing manufacturing dates of December 2013. Further, trade partners have reportedly been told the next batch will contain stock produced in January, which would be a clear signal that Apple has indeed resumed production.

Apple ceased sales and manufacturing of the legacy handset in September when the iPhone 5s and 5c launched. In line with Apple's upgrade model, the iPhone 4S took the entry-level spot previously held by the iPhone 4.

The level to which Apple is taking the rumored restart is unknown, though the publication claims estimates put the first phase of India shipments at 50,000 to 60,000 units. Nubmers for Indonesia and Brazil were left unreported.

A report in January claimed Apple would reintroduce the 8GB iPhone 4 in India to curb flagging sales and push for extended marketshare in the region. At the time, the cost of an India-only iPhone 4 was estimated to come in at roughly 15,000 rupees ($243) after buybacks and equated monthly installment (EMI) plans.

Apple has seen success with EMI strategies in the past. By spreading handset payments out over a period of multiple months, customers are able to set aside a small portion of their wages to pay for the device. In early 2013, data gathered by market research firm IDC illustrated the power of EMI, showing iPhone sales rose 400 percent over a three-month period following the institution of such plans.
post #2 of 45
While I love my iP5, I really prefer the iP4's design. I liked the glass and metal design than the all-metal. It's a solid phone. It will sell well.

I'm curious why they don't use the iPhone5 instead? I would think the mass-production of the iP5x would make for a cheaper model, unless Apple doesn't want to "dilute" the iP5-brand?
post #3 of 45
Why 4 and not 4S?
post #4 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

While I love my iP5, I really prefer the iP4's design. I liked the glass and metal design than the all-metal. It's a solid phone. It will sell well.

I'm curious why they don't use the iPhone5 instead? I would think the mass-production of the iP5x would make for a cheaper model, unless Apple doesn't want to "dilute" the iP5-brand?
Or how about 5c?
post #5 of 45

With what version of the OS?

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post #6 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Or how about 5c?

 

Can't offer the 4s or 5c at dirt cheap prices without affecting the products currently for sale in other areas.

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post #7 of 45

Pretty genius when there's legit demand for your superseded, older hardware (that *still* impresses in design.)

 

It is, after all, a conduit to Apple's ecosystem. That alone is a big draw.  

post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post
 

Pretty genius when there's legit demand for your superseded, older hardware (that *still* impresses in design.)

 

It is, after all, a conduit to Apple's ecosystem. That alone is a big draw.  

 

This sounds like a stop gap measure to me with no guaranteed positive results.

 

Apple reacting instead of acting.  Fairly uncommon.

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post #9 of 45
iPhone 4 seems pretty expensive to make (all glass design)and now in smaller volumes, there are smaller economies of scale. As a stop gap it's OK if they are not serious about a low-end iPhone that might dilute sales of high-end phones elsewhere.
post #10 of 45
Awesome! Looks like iOS 8 will support iPhone 4 then! Or so we hope.

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Or how about 5c?

Exactly.  It’s not like Apple had pallets full of unsold iP4’s lying around unsold to ship to India.  They have to fire up old tooling, and build “older” components again which to me sounds like a lot more work than just the iP5 design, or as you mentioned the 5c.

 

It would also be nice to have more of the phones using the iP5x screen dimensions and get off the smaller retina screens altogether.

 

I guess Tim Cook felt it was more cost-effective to bring back the “old” phones than use the production capacity of their current handsets.

 

Obviously, those high-up decisions are way above my pay grade.  Would be interesting to know how they came to that decision.

 

post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Awesome! Looks like iOS 8 will support iPhone 4 then! Or so we hope.

Nope.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 45
Knee jerk reaction. The most current OS slows the 4 down to a brick and will hardly exhume Apple's status of high quality. Unless they upgrade the chip, which they won't, I can't see this as helping Apple's status there long term.
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Knee jerk reaction. The most current OS slows the 4 down to a brick and will hardly exhume Apple's status of high quality. Unless they upgrade the chip, which they won't, I can't see this as helping Apple's status there long term.

 

Apple will probably stick something below iOS 7 in these puppies.

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post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Why 4 and not 4S?

Perhaps because the 4S is already still in production, and costs more than the 4 to make? I still have a iPhone 4 in use. It is running iOs 7. 90 percent of the time it runs great. There are a few times it feels a little sluggish while executing animations. 

post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

This sounds like a stop gap measure to me with no guaranteed positive results.

 

Apple reacting instead of acting.  Fairly uncommon.

 

Reacting and acting are the same thing. I see it as Apple being aggressive. As far as positive results go, I highly doubt Apple will have a hard time selling every one it makes. 

 

The iPhone 5C was never meant to appeal to the people the iPhone 4 is being targeted at. 

post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Knee jerk reaction. The most current OS slows the 4 down to a brick and will hardly exhume Apple's status of high quality. Unless they upgrade the chip, which they won't, I can't see this as helping Apple's status there long term.


Interesting.  My old iP4 runs just fine with iOS7.  

post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post
 

 

Reacting and acting are the same thing. I see it as Apple being aggressive. As far as positive results go, I highly doubt Apple will have a hard time selling every one it makes. 

 

The iPhone 5C was never meant to appeal to the people the iPhone 4 is being targeted at. 

 

No... sorry, acting and reacting are two different concepts.

 

"Citing three senior executives with knowledge of Apple's plans, The Economic Times claims the company is looking to shoehorn its way back into the burgeoning markets as sales slid due to a lack of low-priced models."

 

When you act their is no need for reaction. Had Apple done this in the beginning, before it was noticed that it was losing share, then that is acting.

 

Instead, Apple's act was a reaction to market forces in that area. Apple noticed that they were losing share in one particular area of the population and they reacted by re-introducing the 4.

 

[and, yes... when a report says that they cited 3 senior executives... well, the report becomes suspect... immediately]

 

... and...

 

Why are you bringing up the 5c?


Edited by island hermit - 2/4/14 at 5:46pm
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post #19 of 45
Potentially dumb move, if true. Screams 'third world market'. While that may be true, the simple fact is, they do not like hearing it.

I still do not believe this rumor.
post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Why 4 and not 4S?

 

Cheaper internal parts, so cheaper to produce?

 

It could have a few low cost improvements too where possible. Like they did previously, to the iPad 2 I think it was, when they originally kept it.

post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Potentially dumb move, if true. Screams 'third world market'. While that may be true, the simple fact is, they do not like hearing it.

I still do not believe this rumor.

 

but but but... they cited 3 senior executives...

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post #22 of 45
What about OS fragmentation?
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post

iPhone 4 seems pretty expensive to make (all glass design)and now in smaller volumes, there are smaller economies of scale. As a stop gap it's OK if they are not serious about a low-end iPhone that might dilute sales of high-end phones elsewhere.

Who knows.

The logical reason for the iphone 4 is that the parts are still available. If Apple was still producing the A4, then replacing the radio chip with a current version or even replacing the memory or NAND storage with whatever is currently available is much less of a big deal. Remember that the only substantial difference between an iPod touch and an iPhone is the lack of the 3G/4G/LTE radio. Apple still makes the iPod Touch, but it's on the A5 chip at the low end (229$ USD) It seems more likely that they would resume the 4S (450$ USD) production which is still on their website and is used by the iPhone 4S and iPod Touch.
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Why 4 and not 4S?

That was my first thought!
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post #25 of 45

The idea is that iPhone 5C will eventually replace all the cheap model. Why bring the 4? Apple has always maintained somewhat unofficial life expectancy of an iPhone devices to be 3 years. And the 4 isn't any cheaper to produce then the 5C.

 

The BOM Cost of iPhone 5C will drop over the years. 32nm, or 28nm will be the cheapest Node in the coming years according to Industry expert. With Gorilla Glass price dropping as well. The iPhone 5C will likely be the lowest BOM cost iPhone Apple has made since the introduction of iPhone. And will likely stay at as the Cheapest iPhone option available over the years with spec upgrade only just like the iPod touch.

post #26 of 45
These countries are pretty lucky. I love my iPhone 4. Still going strong to this day!
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttong_atx View Post

What about OS fragmentation?

 

What about it?  Android seems to be doing pretty well with plenty of OS fragmentation.  ;)

post #28 of 45
Poor move by apple!
I recently sold my iphone 4 as ios7 was making it useless! I tell my Indian friends not to buy iph 4 - instead pay a bit more and get 4s. Both have the same great look and feel but 4s would last longer with OS lifecycle upgrades. Or if you can afford go for 5s - amazing phone.
post #29 of 45

Here in India, people really took up the various EMI offers offered for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 earlier. Those triggered a good increase in sales last year.

Apple could have brought prices down to prices of unlocked phones in the US or atleast close to it. But due to reasons unfathomable, it still chooses to keep the prices $110 - $200 more in India. Who the **** in their right minds will pay that exorbitant premium even in so-called non-poor countries?

Here's the prices so you can check. These are official Apple prices so I am not considering any discounts given in either country by retailers:
*taking $1 = ₹63

iPhone 5S 16GB unlocked
US: $649
India: ₹53,500 = $849
So, Extra price in India = $200

iPhone 5c 16GB unlocked
US: $549
India: ₹41,900 = $665
So, Extra price in India = $116


I guess all those people feeling sorry for India's poor can shut up now. Most Indians are smart enough to not fall for such shit.

(Edit: corrected the Apple India price for 5c from 41,500 to 41,900)


Edited by spacerays - 2/5/14 at 11:33am
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post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Why 4 and not 4S?

4S has 1080p video, 4 has 720p. When you've only got 8GB to begin with, 720 is more reasonable

4S has Siri, is expected to have Siri, and maybe they can't support it so well in these areas yet.

4S production is already maxed in producing the third-tier phone. They now want a fourth tier.

One way this all makes sense is if it were a contingency plan all along, if the market and economic conditions blew a certain way. Otherwise, why would they hang on to parts and tooling?
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacerays View Post

Here in India, people really took up the various EMI offers offered for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 earlier. Those triggered a good increase in sales last year.


Apple could have brought prices down to prices of unlocked phones in the US or atleast close to it. But due to reasons unfathomable, it still chooses to keep the prices $110 - $200 more in India. Who the **** in their right minds will pay that exorbitant premium even in so-called non-poor countries?


Here's the prices so you can check. These are official Apple prices so I am not considering any discounts given in either country by retailers:
*taking $1 = ₹63


iPhone 5S 16GB unlocked

US: $649

India: ₹53,500 = $849

So, Extra price in India = $200

iPhone 5c 16GB unlocked

US: $549

India: ₹41,500 = $659

So, Extra price in India = $110



I guess all those people feeling sorry for India's poor can shut up now. Most Indians are smart enough to not fall for such shit.

Seems more reasonable that you're looking at tariffs, taxes, and/or several layers of markup by middlemen. I can't imagine that Apple would just be engaged in price gouging in India out of common greed.
post #32 of 45
Import tariffs and taxes into India are circa 25%-40% depending on product.
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Knee jerk reaction. The most current OS slows the 4 down to a brick and will hardly exhume Apple's status of high quality. Unless they upgrade the chip, which they won't, I can't see this as helping Apple's status there long term.

Can't agree with you there. I have a iPhone 4 on iOS 7 and my wife has one running iOS 6. I run Geekbench 2 on both and the results were almost the same, with my phone coming out on top every time by a single point.
post #34 of 45
This makes sense now. I remember reading Apple was sending lots of refurbished iPhone 4 models to India. They must have been a success - so much so that Apple decided it was the right phone for the low-data-speed environment and low average income level of the market. This is a good move, as mentioned before, to get people into the ecosystem.
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Can't offer the 4s or 5c at dirt cheap prices without affecting the products currently for sale in other areas.
Indeed.

Even the 4s has a semblance of working fine. Demand in the west for the iPhone 4 is negligible at best
post #36 of 45

I can see this making sense if it addresses a market segment that otherwise will not (or cannot) purchase a 4s or greater and does not cannibalize the existing 4s and above sales.

 

Practically, I would think putting iOS 6 on it makes sense.  While that obviously dilutes their largely consistent iOS experience they offer across the iPhone portfolio, my iPhone 4 is so incredibly sluggish on iOS 7.  In hindsight I would've stuck with iOS 6.

post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Or how about 5c?

 

If it's good enough for the Biebs...

 

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/02/05/bieber-buys-iphones-for-young-fans

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post #38 of 45
iPhone 5C = cheap iPhone for developing markets
Apple will resume iPhone 4 production for developing markets

Same rumour just with other wording...
post #39 of 45
It appears that the 'c' in iPhone 5c stands for 'c you later'.
post #40 of 45

I can't believe this thread has gone on for so long without input from Apple ][.

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