Pricing and fierce competition has Apple's market share declining in Asia

Apple is having a problem in Asia as the iPhone's market share in that region has not been growing in some countries; even worse, it is declining in others. Competition from Chinese handset manufacturers has been brutal as companies like Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo have been able to attract consumers by offering high-end units at lower prices. And by including some features not found on the iPhone, such as enhanced front-facing selfie cameras and larger capacity batteries, these companies are taking sales away from Apple.

In India and Indonesia, the average smartphone sells for $200, which means that most consumers in those countries have to look at other options instead of buying the iPhone. The only iOS flavored handset that is close to that price tag is the Apple iPhone SE, the 2016 4-incher that is actually being produced in India. Earlier this year, there was talk about Apple offering a sequel called the iPhone SE 2. The newer version is rumored to keep the 4-inch LCD screen, but is said to have an Apple A10 Fusion chipset under the hood, and support wireless charging

Apple's market share has dropped in China from 13% of the smartphone market in 2013, to 8% now. In India, the world's second largest smartphone market after China, Apple owns 2% which leaves plenty of room for improvement. However, considering that it is pricing holding back Apple in that country, it is hard to see how the company will be able to compete with the lower priced Chinese manufacturers. One 28-year-old graphic designer in the country, Abhay Shahi, swapped his iPhone 6 for a brand new Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 for roughly $200. Calling the iPhone "overpriced," he notes that his new phone "has a fingerprint sensor, the camera is pretty good, and there’s no lag." Xiaomi has hit a grand slam in India, where its market share has soared from 3% in 2015 to 19% last year.

While Xiaomi pushed hard in India over the last couple of years, Oppo and Vivo are now landscaping Indonesia and India with billboards showing off features on their handsets that are not found on an iPhone. For example, some of these phones have software that smooths out wrinkles so that self-portraits make the subject look younger. This is a feature not available to iPhone users.

source: WSJ

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11 Comments

3. unmaskedfalesh

Posts: 29; Member since: May 18, 2014

"For example, some of these phones have software that smooths out wrinkles so that self-portraits make the subject look younger. This is a feature not available to iPhone users." is that only feature that is not found on Apple? 3.5mm, ability to download songs directly to phone,no notch.....etc etc?

5. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

A lot of Asian OEMs have started ditching the jack as well and the notch variations are coming. The downloading songs bit... not sure about that one.

6. fyah_king unregistered

Yeah, cause they wanna copy Moto and leeco for no jack.lol

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 22490; Member since: May 28, 2014

Apple needs to make a mid-range offering that can compete price-wise with Android offerings of similar mid-range pricing. I know it’s not their M.O., but certain that they would pick up a ton of extra sales and more market share if they did this in countries that sell predominantly mid-range to low end smartphones.

15. RoyalMike unregistered

Apple doesn't need to make mid range products, they doesn't even need to decline the price. They just need to make better products with better support and stop stealing money by selling outdated products

18. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Please explain how my iPhone X is "outdated". It has the best display on a smartphone currently available, the best SoC in a smartphone currently available, and a number of unique features that you can't replicate with your current device (iMessage, Auto backup WITHOUT root access, an incredible array of accessories, etc.). The only complaint I have is battery life and no theming engine to speak of making it an incredibly dull interface. By no means is Apple's hardware inferior to anyone's... period. I agree with what MG said... they need a mid-range offering to keep pace in Asia. The issue is how do they go about releasing such a device while maintaining their premium appeal?

20. meanestgenius

Posts: 22490; Member since: May 28, 2014

I think they can do it and maintain the premium appeal if the look and feel is premium. But they will most likely take a loss when it comes to the profits of a mid-range offering that can compete price wise to what the Asian smartphone OEM’s are offering. Unless it sells in such huge numbers that the sheer volume of sales offsets the low price per handset.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 22490; Member since: May 28, 2014

If Apple wants to continue to compete in a market where its competitors are releasing lower priced handsets in a region that smartphone OEM’s have historically sold handsets at or below cost, then they absolutely have to make a mid-range offering that’s competitively priced when compared to the competition. If not, they can expect more of the same in terms of losing out to Chinese smartphone OEM’s, quarter after quarter. And “outdated”? I wouldn’t call a smartphone that consistently has the best SoC in the business “outdated”.

37. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

Clearly apple doesn't understand asian market.

39. jojon

Posts: 435; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

..Apple losing market share!! thats gonna keep me up all night.

40. sunnyfpy

Posts: 293; Member since: May 12, 2013

Get over it,

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