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

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,500member
    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?
  • Reply 2 of 45
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Why 4 and not 4S?
  • Reply 3 of 45
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sflocal wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 4 of 45

    With what version of the OS?

  • Reply 5 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.

  • Reply 6 of 45
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member

    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.  

  • Reply 7 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.

  • Reply 8 of 45
    capnbobcapnbob Posts: 386member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    Awesome! Looks like iOS 8 will support iPhone 4 then! Or so we hope.
  • Reply 10 of 45
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,500member
    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.

     

  • Reply 11 of 45
    irelandireland Posts: 17,548member
    Awesome! Looks like iOS 8 will support iPhone 4 then! Or so we hope.

    Nope.
  • Reply 12 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.
  • Reply 13 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.

  • Reply 14 of 45
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    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. 

  • Reply 15 of 45
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    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. 

  • Reply 16 of 45
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,500member
    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.  

  • Reply 17 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?

  • Reply 18 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.
  • Reply 19 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.

  • Reply 20 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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