Cheaper iPhone could give Apple control of China's smartphone market

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  • Reply 21 of 40
    itudyitudy Posts: 5member
    I'll give you guys the stats here in Romania. I got my iPhone for around 600 dollars (our money converted to yours). It's locked into Orange (Our main carriers are Orange, Vodafone and Cosmote).



    So I use a prepaid card and there's this thing called Orange Young which you can activate (anyone can really, it's easy) and for 5 euros (that's around 7 dollars I believe) I get the following:



    - 3000 minutes in my own network (Orange) with friends - also get unlimited talk with 3 friends of my chosing

    - Infinite texting (sms) with whomever (inside Orange)

    - 75 minutes outside Orange, including other networks and other fixed phones internationally

    - 75 text messages outside Orange.

    - And as an additional option if I choose it for 3 dollars, I get about 200 mb of internet (which is awesome for push mails and random browsing when I'm not on wi-fi)



    So for about 10 dollars per month, I get all that. - That's 120 dollars per year.

    Now let's compare.



    If i would've gotten my phone on a contract from Orange I would've paid 240 dollars upfront for the phone and a contract of about 60 dollars per month - that's 720 dollars per year for TWO years so that's 1440 dollars! For that money I'd get about 900 texts, about 1200 minutes in Orange.



    Really.... the only way I see it and the only way I've seen it thus far ever since owning an iPhone is... it's better to just wait, save up and buy it upfront and use a prepaid card.
  • Reply 22 of 40
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    We are approaching the 5th year the iPhone has been out. It?s expected that they?d diversify the brand a bit at some point. Personally, I want the display size option to be added, but going with a cheaper version of the 3.5? version might be smarter. Maybe the 3GS HW with the iPod Touch?s Retina Display.



    an iPhone version of the present generation iPod touch would be cool. I like that form factor.
  • Reply 23 of 40
    3G adoption in china is around 5% according to this article ( http://www.networkworld.com/news/201...-sluggish.html ) So even if some percentage of those current customers say they prefer Apple, it still doesn't really tell anything.
  • Reply 24 of 40
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Oh noes! Now it will take until 2016 for Windows phones to pass iPhones.
  • Reply 25 of 40
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iTudy View Post


    I'll give you guys the stats here in Romania. I got my iPhone for around 600 dollars (our money converted to yours). It's locked into Orange (Our main carriers are Orange, Vodafone and Cosmote).



    So I use a prepaid card and there's this thing called Orange Young which you can activate (anyone can really, it's easy) and for 5 euros (that's around 7 dollars I believe) I get the following:



    Thanks for the wider view. Was that price for a 3GS or a 4? And what generally is the perceived desirability of the iPhone in Romania, as near as you can tell?
  • Reply 26 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Project2501 View Post


    3G adoption in china is around 5% according to this article ( http://www.networkworld.com/news/201...-sluggish.html ) So even if some percentage of those current customers say they prefer Apple, it still doesn't really tell anything.



    Sure it does! 5% of 853 million is 42.65 million. Even if we ignore any growth of China?s mobile market and 3G adoption or potentially lower iPhone prices, just take the 30% noted in the article, we have about 11 million iPhones sold in China.



    That is certainly a low number compared to the world at large, but it?s certainly not low for a country or for a a single carrier if we do a direct comparison to new HW for the Verizon iPhone and new HW needed for China Mobile?s homegrown 3G, even when ignoring the obvious growth potential for China?s market.



    No viable company will ignore such a huge demand from a such a huge country with a huge growth potential. So far we?ve seen plenty of signs that Apple is focusing heavily on China. I think they have several new Apple Stores opening throughout the country. How long before China has the more official stores than other country but the US?
  • Reply 27 of 40
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    The survey showed that most phone owners in China aspired to a smart phone.
  • Reply 28 of 40
    Not surprising here. This applies to every other country. Now if only the "official" carriers drop their monthly rates...
  • Reply 29 of 40
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


    I thought I did.



    http://www.t3.com/news/apple-boss-hi...-iphone?=53923



    I didnt source that, and I normally add sources, because it is common knowledge on this forum.



    Tim Cook never said or even hinted that they were working on a cheap iPhone



    Quote:

    While Tim stopped short of explicitly stating that Apple would pursue a lower price iPhone, he did state that Apple was working hard to ?figure out? the prepaid market and that Apple didn?t want its products to be ?just for the rich,? but ?for everyone?; he also stated that Apple ?understood price is big factor in the prepaid market? and that the company was ?not ceding any market.? Cook noted that Apple executives ? including himself ? had spent ?huge energy? in China, noting that it is ?a classic prepaid market.? He further noted that the handset distribution model was poorly constructed and that Apple would look to ?innovate? and do ?clever? things in addressing that market.



    http://www.mactrast.com/apples-tim-c...repaid-iphone/



    Quote:

    Apple CFO Tim Cook got all buddy-buddy with Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi this week, talking about Apple?s business strategy ? nothing out of the ordinary there ? but this morning, that analyst decided to publicly paraphrase an intriguing part of the interview. Guess what? It sounds like a cheaper iPhone may indeed be in the cards: While Tim stopped short of explicitly stating that Apple would pursue a lower price iPhone, he did state that Apple was working hard to ?figure out? the prepaid market and that Apple didn?t want its products to be ?just for the rich,? but ?for everyone?; he also stated that Apple ?understood price is big factor in the prepaid market? and that the company was ?not ceding any market.? Cook noted that Apple executives ? including himself ? had spent ?huge energy? in China, noting that it is ?a classic prepaid market.? He further noted that the handset distribution model was poorly constructed and that Apple would look to ?innovate? and do ?clever? things in addressing that market. As you can see, there aren?t any statements of fact here, just some general strategy ideas, but if Apple indeed plans to put an iPhone in every pot, it would be helpful if it didn?t have to rely on the carrier subsidy model



    http://www.techcrazy.info/?tag=tim-cook



  • Reply 30 of 40
    jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crustyjusty View Post


    I'm not sure what to make of a report like this. My monthly subscription fee costs me around $1K a year, or $2K over the lifetime of the plan. The phone is $600, or $200 subsidized.



    So, given that the majority of the cost of owning a smartphone is in the data plan, I'm not sure how much the cost of the phone is going to change overall appetite.



    Are the plans cheaper in China, such that the phone truly is the overriding financial burden?



    Its not a subsidized market but a pre-paid market. So that answers your question.

    Interestingly Apple seems to be steering towards a pre-paid market already, I received a mail from Apple today that from now on pre-paid iPhones can be ordered from the online Apple store. And that's a first in Holland.



    J.
  • Reply 31 of 40
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    Onkha. Pretty much the entire quote from Cook proved my point, not yours.
  • Reply 32 of 40
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,191member
    I don't think Apple will make a "cheap" Chinese iPhone. The slightly higher price actually drives consumers to want the phone MORE from everything I've seen. It is an "aspirational" product, whereas Android is the geek-boy phone.
  • Reply 33 of 40
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 418member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crustyjusty View Post


    Are the plans cheaper in China, such that the phone truly is the overriding financial burden?



    I pay US$7 a month for my iPhone plan (套餐) in China. That gives me 150MB of data (and 50 minutes of outgoing voice), which is enough for me. I used to be on the US$14 plan (300MB), but found I was only using 120MB a month, so I downgraded.



    When I was in Malaysia, I used TuneTalk, a prepaid service that costs US$0.015 per megabyte! Yes, that's only US$1.80 per month for my typical usage.
  • Reply 34 of 40
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    Good info in this thread.



    @SpamSandwich - they wont be the cheapest, they will be cheaper at the entry level.
  • Reply 35 of 40
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,191member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TokyoJimu View Post


    I pay US$7 a month for my iPhone plan in China. That gives me 150MB of data (and 50 minutes of outgoing voice), which is enough for me. I used to be on the $14 plan (300MB), but found I was only using 120MB a month, so I downgraded.



    When I was in Malaysia, I used TuneTalk, a prepaid service that costs US$0.015 per megabyte! Yes, that's only US$1.80 per month for my typical usage.



    That sounds about right. With the yuan (RMB) pegged to 1/7th the dollar, this is what a consumer would pay.
  • Reply 36 of 40
    itudyitudy Posts: 5member
    Quote:

    Thanks for the wider view. Was that price for a 3GS or a 4? And what generally is the perceived desirability of the iPhone in Romania, as near as you can tell?



    That was the price for the iPhone 4. The 3gs is cheaper but at the same contract price with same stuff. I'm in college right now and as far as I can tell, a lot of people have iPhones in my class lol. And even though Apple is less known here as a computer company but more known for iPods and iPhones. I've seen quite a few people with them.



    Over here(Romania) the iPhone is available through Vodafone and Cosmote as well, not just Orange, but they mostly have about the same prices and options. Lots to chose from but little incentive to do so, rather, just buy one contract-free and then plug in a sim and activate orange young options which are quite awesome and you've got yourself a sweet deal for 10 bucks haha.



    And as for a cheaper iPhone... to me it sounds riddiculous. Apple's whole existance is based around high quality products that aren't cheap and aren't just for everybody. It's not a company that mass-markets all manner of crappy things just to hit a mark. They are calculated and make educated and tactical decisions. The moment they'll ever make a mini-iPhone or a dumbed down version of the iPhone is the day that pigs fly, or maybe if Steve Jobs dies or everyone at apple catches some kind of weird disease that makes them think like the competition in terms of product strategy.
  • Reply 37 of 40
    Pay as you go is the way to go...if you don't use your phone that much. I'm sure there is a good size market that Apple is missing out on, who can't justify all the bells and whistles of the current phone and monthly cost.

    I personally know that all of my retired friends use "pay as you go phones".



    I've been a Mac Guy since the beginning so that says that I'm an old user, but a believer of Apple products.



    I would love to have an iPhone that links with my Apple Address Book and Calendar.



    Hope they produce a "pay as you go" iPhone soon!
  • Reply 38 of 40
    aiaaia Posts: 179member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TokyoJimu View Post


    I pay US$7 a month for my iPhone plan (套餐) in China. That gives me 150MB of data (and 50 minutes of outgoing voice), which is enough for me. I used to be on the US$14 plan (300MB), but found I was only using 120MB a month, so I downgraded.



    When I was in Malaysia, I used TuneTalk, a prepaid service that costs US$0.015 per megabyte! Yes, that's only US$1.80 per month for my typical usage.



    And just to clarify for everyone else, this package is a montly charge on a prepaid plan - you're not actually on a contract, right?



    Yeah, the data rates in SE asian countries is quite cheap in general.
  • Reply 39 of 40
    aiaaia Posts: 179member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Really? Can you cite the source of your info? China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom all subsidize smart phones. China Unicom, for example, offers a subsidized iPhone if you sign up for 2 years.



    It is also important to note that Apple sells its phones for higher prices in China than in the US (before subsidies). This is perhaps what the article is referring to.



    It would be more accurate to say that these carriers *offer* subsidized phones, in addition to selling them at unsubsidized prices. The majority of folks here are not on contractual plans w/ subsidized phones.



    That said, the subsidized iPhone 4 from China Unicom is actually quite a good deal as the phone is unlocked. I've been tempted myself, but the lack of number portability is a bit of a headache so I've been putting it off (I'm currently with China Mobile). The way it works is that you pre-pay for the 2 years of service, and they give you the phone. They don't give you the phone and bill you monthly, as people would just run off with the phone and not pay the monthly bill.



    This lack of "trust" (a better term escapes me right now) is why the western model of having service contracts w/ subsidized handsets doesn't work over here.



    To give you a better understanding, we pre-pay for our electricity and natural gas here (using smart cards). Even for going to the hospital (non-private ones) - yes, if you don't pay first you won't get treatment. The only thing I get "billed" for is my water usage, but that is dirt cheap.
  • Reply 40 of 40
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,312member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iTudy View Post


    And as for a cheaper iPhone... to me it sounds riddiculous. Apple's whole existance is based around high quality products that aren't cheap and aren't just for everybody. It's not a company that mass-markets all manner of crappy things just to hit a mark. They are calculated and make educated and tactical decisions. The moment they'll ever make a mini-iPhone or a dumbed down version of the iPhone is the day that pigs fly, or maybe if Steve Jobs dies or everyone at apple catches some kind of weird disease that makes them think like the competition in terms of product strategy.



    Except, of course, they said they would go cheaper, they sell to the unwashed masses for MP3 players, ( from $50 - $400+), and they produce the cheapest Tablet on the market.



    Who said it needs to be dumbed down. Just produce a cheaper version.Or cheapen an existing version.



    Your story is a good example of why they need a cheap version for Romania. Even if you want to buy the unsibsidised top of the line model, others cant. But if they can get cheap PAYG, a cheap iPhone will sell like hot cakes - otherwise that market is for Android.
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