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Failure to launch?

Exclusive invitations “By innovation only”, have gone out for Apple’s next phone launch on the 10th of September which will herald in the announcement of a variety of new devices from Cupertino. When you think back to the days of long lines of excited customers waiting patiently, some even camping out, the night before, to get their hands on the latest technical marvel delivered by Apple. You can only think, “were we mad?”.

The tech landscape is ever-evolving and, in the past when there were massive leaps forward in technology at each phone launch, you almost didn’t want to, couldn’t afford to be left behind. How would your social life cope, when you didn’t have access to the latest apps or all-important Instagram filters, and AI camera’s to smooth your “selfie” face into doll-like perfection?

 

Today we have such good mid-tier phones with such exceptional camera’s and processing power onboard that the iconic, premium devices are no longer the pinnacles of desire they once were. The race to become the most desired smartphone manufacturer was originally a two-horse race with Samsung ever chasing Apple for the top spot, and in the past 2 years, Huawei has made a serious play to tease for the title making this little threesome a very exclusive party indeed.

 

But is this crown still worth fighting for?

 

Apple has lagged behind in Camera tech so much so that many mid-tier Android devices provide a much better photography experience for a fraction of the price. Samsung, in an attempt to create the same “iPhone” premium allure, has set their flagship models at a similar price point to Apple’s. Many customers are happy to shop down and get more value for money. Huawei has followed the same example, although you will find their premium devices are still a little more accessible.

 

The challenge in 2019 is really to decide is it worth it to upgrade? With Huawei being caught in the US vs China trade war, the launch of their Mate 30 looks more and more in doubt as without access to Google’s Android it won’t even feature on the race card. Samsung with its recent Note 10 launch is seeing some really healthy sales as the fanboys, and previous Note users replace ageing devices, and with Huawei’s Mate 30 potential “non-starter” will most likely see Samsung gaining some more new customers in the premium Android sector.

 

Apple and its new phones face the problem, of that once having established a price premium for their devices, it is very difficult to compete with the ever more popular mid-tier Android devices. So whilst we are seeing sales slowing down on Apple, their best move would be to be far more aggressive in its “R” version and start with re-setting its entry price point for a “premium mid-tier” device. Or alternatively, in the emerging markets like ours, get very aggressive with CPO (certified pre-owned) models of iPhone X and iPhone XR

 

For their flagships, rumoured to be the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11, pricing is likely to remain unchanged versus the XS and XS Max. I don’t think we will see a mad rush for the new 2019 iPhone range but, hopefully, we will see a more strategic price play from Apple.

 

Cupertino has hedged its bets on making its software and services more widely available and has entered into the banking space recently; they just need to ensure they don’t lose sight of the fact the most popular entry point into the iOS ecosystem and subscription to its various services begins with the purchase of an iPhone.

 

Is Apples solid ecosystem, its protection of user privacy and data enough to continue its dominance as the perceived premium benchmark setter?

 

Written By: Chris Henschel – Trend setter by day, socialite by night and Cellucity GM in his free time.

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