Would a cheaper iPhone hurt Apple’s brand image?

ernard

Over dinner some friends and I were having a discussion about whether Apple should introduce a cheaper iPhone and increase its market share. One person made the argument that by releasing a cheaper, compromised product, Apple would risk damaging its brand image, and while it may sale more units, the resultant loss of cache would cost Apple more in the long run than the increased volume of sales would offset. Do people think she is right about that?

Tags: apple, iphone
Answer this Question

Answers

3 total
Christopher Nerney
Vote Up (17)

Yes, I believe your friend is correct. Apple's entire market strategy is to position its products and services as superior to the competition. Releasing a cheaper phone would have one of two negative impacts:

1) If the phone is of lower quality, Apple's brand and mystique will suffer. There's no doubt about that.

2) If Apple releases a high-quality iPhone at a lower price, it will lose much or all of its margin on each device. Nearly everything Apple does involves making a profit (unlike Google). It's not in the business of giving away smartphones.

Number6
Vote Up (14)

 Remember the Cadillac Cimmeron?  It’s probably best that you don’t. It was a rebadged Chevy Cavalier that Cadillac sold in the early 80s. I don’t think anyone around at the time would argue that it did anything BUT damage Cadillac’s image. Now that example is slightly different than a budget iPhone because it was not an original product but a rebranding, but a subpar product with your name on it is never good if you are trying to position yourself as a premium brand. If this hypothetical cheaper iPhone was still a desirable product, sort of a “premium inexpensive” product, that maintained most of the quality and important features but had a smaller lower res display and plastic body, it might be ok. If it was a sluggish, poorly performing piece of hardware, then it might be the perfect companion while you are rolling in that Cimmeron. 

jimlynch
Vote Up (11)

I doubt it, as the lower cost iPhone will probably still have great build quality. But the specs will just trail the top of the line model. Apple is smart and knows how to do this. They'll gain more market share, but they'll be careful not to make a poor quality phone.

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Facebook is testing a way to let users of its mobile app search for posts shared with them in the past.
Samsung has partnered with Nokia to bring navigation service Here to its new smartwatch and Galaxy Android phones.
Thanks to the cloud, the “as a service” trend is getting a little out of control
Baidu and Tencent are teaming up with a Chinese shopping mall operator in a joint venture that could steal business away from local e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.
It seems like poaching drivers is par for the course in the ride-sharing industry.
Is it crazy to pay $1300 for a Chromebook? Some reflections after a year and a half of living with Google's luxurious Pixel.
Microsoft has consolidated the consumer and enterprise editions of OneDrive under a single Android app, a move it plans to replicate across all the platforms that the cloud storage service runs on.
The EU is investing in IT to help it and its citizens protect themselves from floods.
While SAP has made a big push into mobile software and device management with the acquisition of Sybase and a series of apps, it hasn't made overt moves into the devices market. But this could change down the road, judging from a recently published patent application submitted by SAP.
Apple rumors continue to fly. This time it's the device we're unofficially calling the iWatch, and it'll be here next month, sources say.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+