For the past few days, digital and print media has been abuzz with the news of the tremendous success of Apple as it sold 4million iPhone 6s worldwide within 24 hours of its launch day. This is a huge milestone for Apple and so it must be applauded.
Very little is being said about Google’s master plan to sell million smartphones by the end of this year in one country alone-India. This smartphone is Android One, specially designed keeping in mind the middle income families of a country as economically diverse as India.
This smartphone is a proof of Google’s intent of giving Apple a run for its money in the global smartphone game. Priced at $100, it offers affordability, style and ease of handling to its consumers. Carrier subsidies fill further drive down the price to $60s.
Saturated Apple’s Market, Newly Born Android One Market
This smartphone will not be available in the US as the market there is already saturated with smartphones. This, I believe, is where Apple’s troubles start. Their primary market, the US, is saturated with smartphones with 75%of the population owning one! Although Apple controls roughly 42% of smartphone sales, there is very little room for further market growth. Apple needs to attract other markets. Apple is known to think locally and apply globally. They need to realize what works in New York, Milan and Paris may not work in Mumbai, Beijing and Mexico City.
This is where Android One comes in. Google has designed a product keeping in mind the market that it wishes to attract. Thus it offers a lucrative deal when it comes to affordability and has built a market for itself. The potential was always there. Google merely exploited it way before Apple even realized what was happening around it.
Smartphone pundits often dub iPhone gadgets as “fashionable accessories”. They aspire to the masses but are rarely affordable by the majority of them. It is an impressive position for a company to be in but it comes with a catch: arrogance.
Excess of everything is a bad thing. Apples failure to push their gadgets into low-end markets has resulted in an epic concentration of smartphones in one corner of the world while the rest of the world got dazzled by the ‘out of reach’ glitter. Well, ‘One man’s food is another man’s poison’. Google took what Apple failed to envision!
Apple has lost market share to local manufacturers in not only China but Mexico as well during the last 12 months. This shows that it is safe to say that Apple has climaxed its sale growth. May be this is why Apple has yet to launch iPhone 6 and 6plus in China (where it’s locally manufactured).
Upgrades in iPhone sales; Birth of Android One sales.
In a world, where innovations are being made at breakneck speeds, the last major change in Apple’s patent came nearly 2 years ago. This lag is worth a lifetime in the fast paced mobile world. Moreover, most iPhone sales are merely upgrades-consumers trying to keep up with the make and the model. No doubt, this brings in profits for the company keeping its coffers full but covers no ground for the future.
On the other hand, Google’s Android One’s sales are all new. Instead of launching it in a tried and tested market of the 1.75 billion people already owning a smartphone, Google took a risk designing a product for the 5 billion who didn’t, and it seems to have paid off.
Global iPhone sourcing; Local Android One sourcing
Apple’s hardware is worth praising-second to none in quality. Whichever supplier it chooses is guaranteed to succeed. This is a major reason behind its driving costs-$649 (without a contract) which can go upwards of $900.
In contrast, Andoid One, keeping up with its unique approach, worked along with local chip makers and manufacturers resulting in a much cheaper yet durable product.
Apple and Google keep Software under Lock and Key.
Software control has always been a prominent feature of Apple. Although it upset them in the PC age yet it seems to have paid off in today’s Mobile age.
Google seems to have gone through the same route. Unlike Samsung which loads up its Android devices with ‘bloat-ware’, Google limits Android One manufacturers to its stock OS. OS access from wireless carriers has been eliminated. Taking a step further, Google has tried to lower the monumental expense of mobile data for its users within data. Google will partner with Airtel to allow Android One users to get free OS updates for the first six month. These users will also get up to 200MB of free data for app downloads per month.
Unless there are radical changes coming to Cupertino, Apple is about to lose the smartphone war to Google.