Facing weak sales and declining revenues, Apple is considering lowering the prices of its iPhones in selected international markets such as China and India.
In an interview with Reuters, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company is “rethinking” iPhone prices outside the United States. Apple usually sets its prices in US dollars, which results in more expensive phones when converted to the local currency.
Cook said that, in some international markets, Apple will go back to pricing that is more commensurate to what the prices in those countries were last year in order to boost sales.
“When you look at foreign currencies and then particularly those markets that weakened over the last year those (iPhone price) increases were obviously more,” Cook said. “And so as we’ve gotten into January and assessed the macroeconomic condition in some of those markets we’ve decided to go back to more commensurate with what our local prices were a year ago in hopes of helping the sales in those areas.”
Foreign exchange rates and economic conditions may not be the only reasons why iPhone sales have slowed down. For one, global smartphone sales have been on the decline for the first time since those numbers were recorded. Another factor is that the quality of smartphones across the board has improved so dramatically that more and more people see no reason to upgrade their phones every two years or so.
Then there’s stiff competition from upstarts like Huawei and Xiaomi, who make smartphones that appeal to the middle class and low income earners. Mid-range and even entry-level phones have become more powerful and efficient as time goes by, making these cheaper devices more attractive to ordinary consumers.
Apple has already cut the prices for some iPhone models in China, and further price cuts could also happen in other countries like India and Brazil, where sales are stagnating due to the prohibitive cost of the device.
There’s no word yet if these price cuts will also be introduced in the Philippines. We will know in the next few weeks or months as soon as Apple provides details on the areas where the price cuts will be implemented.