If you’re a fan of older iPhones we might have some good news for you. There’s a rumor going around that Apple might do the unthinkable and re-launch the iPhone 4 in the Indian market.
The story comes via the Economic Times of India, which cites unnamed industry sources. Apple is supposedly choosing this strategy to counteract the drop in marketshare it has seen in the country. The recent launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C has done very little for Apple as the company has effectively priced itself out of the market even with the supposed cheaper version of the iPhone 5C.
A relaunch of the iPhone 4 would give Apple a somewhat strong contender in the middle to low-end segment of the market, being priced somewhere around the $250 price point.
Of course Apple stopped producing the iPhone 4 quite a while ago, so any new devices would be unsold stock from around the world being brought into India. If true, the devices might start to hit stores as soon as next week.
We’ll have to wait and see if this turns out to be accurate, but this seems like a very strange strategy for the company. Early enthusiasm for the iPhone 5C quickly turned into heavy criticism when it was revealed that the device wouldn’t actually be a competitively priced product. Apple itself has seen a lot of pressure from investors and analysts who are closely watching the company’s declining marketshare, thanks in part to the launch of much more affordable handsets from Samsung and Nokia.
Addressing these concerns appears to have become an important step in the company’s strategy, but re-launching the older iPhone 4 (which is already three generations old) in a developing market hardly seems like the right call. Besides the limited availability of the device, the issue of decreased performance thanks to the iOS 7 release and stiff competition from newer phones, rehashing a 4-year old phone would point to failure from the get-go.
Apple would most likely be much better served by properly releasing a new device that’s destined for the medium price-point. However we’ll see how the company’s current strategy works and whether this turns out to be a success or will put even more pressure on the company to rethink their approach.
Update: It actually happened folks. Apple has re-launched the iPhone 4 in India in a bid to regain some of its lost marketshare. However the company doesn't seem to get developing market prices and decided to price its old devices at $370 for an 8GB model. Considering that new models have had disappointing sales it's very hard to see what Apple hopes to achieve by pricing themselves out of the market again. It will be very interesting to see how consumers react to the company's strategy in the following weeks.