Apple’s conflicting marketing tactics in India and China seem desperate

Apple is planning some rather extraordinary upgrades for its 2019 range of iPhones, but something else is raising eyebrows right now: the decisions that the firm is making about current models.

According to the Economic Times, Apple is responding in a rather peculiar fashion to lacklustre sales in India. It has decided to take the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were supposed to be low-cost entry points for attracting buyers to Apple products, off the market there and increase the prices of other iPhone models.

The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will now be the two cheapest models, and their prices will be increased by about $72 each.

In an interview with the Economic Times, an industry executive tried to explain Apple’s move in this way: “[Apple] wants to reinforce the brand’s ‘premiumness’ in the Indian market and increase average selling prices.”

To add insult to injury, the newspaper reports that Apple is going to withdraw iPhones from any retail outlet in India smaller than 400 sq ft in size. The company wants to concentrate on a smaller number of larger outlets, and try to make them “Apple-only” stores.

While on its own that reasoning already looks rather strange, it’s even stranger if one takes into account that in China, another 1BN+ nation, Apple is drastically cutting iPhone prices and trying to increase the number of iPhone retailers.

Gordon Kelly responded to the whole issue in Forbes yesterday with this comment: “Apple doesn’t know how to turn around stalling iPhone sales. Tip: cutting entry-level models and increasing prices won’t help.”

Add to this the fact that Apple’s next-generation range of iPhones is currently held back by legal battles that might delay the launch of its 5G products until 2021, and the immediate future doesn’t look very promising.


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