Apple's iPhone sells poorly in indebted European countries, while Android flourishes

Apple's iPhone sells poorly in indebted European countries, while Android flourishes
We know that Apple is extracting some major cash from carriers with the iPhone subsidies, as was painfully obvious in the AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Q4 financial results. That's the state of the industry here in the US, and UK follows suit with even heavier subsidies, so the iPhone holds a pretty significant market share in the Anglo-Saxon universe.

In the rest of Europe, however, especially the indebted sun-and-sea southerners, where most people shun lengthy contract ball and chains via prepaid cards, the iPhone situation is grimmer.

NPD research shows that in everyone's favorite punchbag Greece the iPhone has only 5% penetration, and it the not-much-better Portugal Vodafone is selling Apple's last year finest for $680 with prepaid, and that's for the 8GB units. No wonder then that in Portugal only 9% of phones sold last year were iPhones.

Android handsets, on the other hand, can be had for as low as $106, and even the Samsung Galaxy S II sells for cheaper than the cheapest iPhone, raising Android's market share to 60% of all smartphones on Greece's Cosmote carrier, for example. The most popular phone there was the Galaxy mini, which goes for $188 on prepaid. "In this economic situation, we had to push the low-end smartphone", said the carrier's CEO.

In the US, the carriers are between the rock and the hard place on this one - people will keep wanting to upgrade to the latest and greatest iPhone for no more than 200 bucks, in exchange for a two year carrier lock-down, so they are bound to subsidize each unit north of $400 for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to watch who'll blink first.

source: WSJ

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23 Comments

1. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Even though I get happy to hear how apple should suffer, well.....nevermind, point made lol. But Go Android for making cheap flagships for countries that need help. That is an amazing thing to do Google. Keep it up!

2. ilia1986 unregistered

Apple iPhone sells poorly.. my favorite line of text. :)

3. thebikerboi2

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 01, 2011

well most android smartphone's that are sold in the UK are generaly the mid-range androids

7. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Not necessarily,pay as go mid range handsets sell well ie: Galaxy s plus. However on contract the price difference between mid and top level handsets are minimal so top tier android handsets are generally the most popular by far.

4. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

as i see not only in europe because android is bigger in the us too

5. Hafiz

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 20, 2011

Glad to hear that :D

6. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Not everyone can pay the extraordinate amounts for iphones,and indeed carriers in these countries know this and most therefore will not be chained to the groin by apple with its huge contract demands either so apple infiltration is low.Android models are much better priced and even the very top android models are higher tech,do more than iphone but also cost much less than an iphone,it makes great economical sense. For instance a iphone on pay as you go can be 600 euros while a Sony Arc S sells for 350, a Samsung galaxy s plus sells for 350 euros. Even the galaxy s2 can be bought for 450 euros

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

not everyone likes paying a premium to feel a bit of snobbery while being ignorant to the wallet robbery. :)

9. droiddomination

Posts: 203; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

i think apple fails in these countries not b/c of poverty, but more b/c they know value when they see it and spend their money wisely. who wants a locked down, overpriced, outdated phone with no control over what they can do with THEIR puchased product? apple sucks it.

10. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011

This is your opinion as a fervent Android fan. The truth is that when you struggle to bring money home to pay rent and food you save every penny you can. So a low-mid range phone does the job. Been there, done it.

19. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

No, they are not buying the iPhone, because they can't afford them, period. Greece is bankrupt, Iceland, Germany & Italy are flirting with it, so please don't justify the crisis in Europe. Virgin mobile will sell well in Europe with their cheap Androids.

11. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

Android phones are always going to sell more because a lot are cheap, heck, with metro pcs you can get an android phone from huawei for 39$ or from Samsung for 59$ the wildfire for htc is also 99$. It's cheap, it's its a big step up from a regular phone

12. ENIGMA

Posts: 81; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

REALLY.NICE.NEWS. BUT.IPHONE4.ISNT.A.HIGH.END.PHONE.300POUNDS.MIDRAN​GE.PHONE.U.ARE.PAYING.600.WHAT.A.JOKE.AND.HOW.STUP​ID$.PEOPLE.ARE.JUST.TO.USE.APPLES.IOS.SOFTWARE.U.N​EED.TO.BUY.THAT.GOOD.FOR.NOTHING.USELESS.PHONE.

13. ENIGMA

Posts: 81; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

eVERYONE.NOES.APPLE.IS.A.STYLE.PHONE.WOW.LOOK.IVE.​GOT.AN.IPHONE.IM.COOL.IM.RICH.IPHONE.IS.A.FASHION.​THE.PHONE.IS.USELESS.WITH.SO.MUCH.RESTRICTIONS.BUT​.STILL.APPLE.FANS.WILL.SAY.ITS.THE.BEST.PHONE.THEY​.NEVER.ADMIT.THEY.HAVE.HIGH.EGOS.THE.TRUTH.HERTS.T​HEY.NEVER.ADMIT.

20. Paden

Posts: 262; Member since: Jul 07, 2011

HELP.ME.MY.CAPS.LOCK.AND.SPACE.BAR.HAVE.BROKEN.SEN​D​.HELP.

21. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011

LOL that's a telegram.

14. terrah

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

I live in Greece and I think that the article says the half truth... The truth is that the iphone is VERY VERY expensive, while androids are very cheap. iphone 3gs costs 400€, samsung galaxy s2 costs 400€, htc evo 3d costs 310€, iphone 4s 16gb costs 660€ or 885$.... Considering the economic instability 5% is a very good achievement for iphone.

15. pistolashtc

Posts: 29; Member since: Dec 28, 2010

I live in Portugal and the cheaper version of tht iPhone 4S on Apple's Website costs 630€ (About 840 US Dolars), and the most expensive costs 849€ (about 1140 US Dolars) !! -.-'' [UNLOCKED VERSIONS]

18. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Yeah,I know. Talk about gouging. Definately way overpriced for what it is. Portugues??? Sou Brasileiro,amigo...

16. Leon101

Posts: 90; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Apple is not doing so HOT in Europe...

17. lukasound

Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Balkan countries have always been aspiring to technology more than status... I know it's like that among my friends and aquaintances... So it's not only about the price. And i believe that in most of the rest of Europe it's the same... But of course, there are many technologicaly ignorant people everywhere :) They are just more frequent in countries plagued by aspartame, transfat and the like :D

22. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011

"And i believe that in most of the rest of Europe it's the same..." Not. Majority of people can't and don't want to afford 650€ for a cellphone, if money means nothing for you that's a different story. Americans have been spoiled by discounted price on a 2 yrs contract + consumerism is a US prerogative thanks also to the misuse of credit cards.

23. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Hooray for people avoiding the apple smugphone

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