Apple Unveils Budget Product Makeovers

by Matt Klassen on March 20, 2014

Apple has long been seen as a purveyor of pricey products, an empire built on a foundation of elitism and no compromises. While such a persona served the company well in the early days of the smartphone, where anyone who was anyone needed to have an iPhone in their hand, the Cupertino tech giant has struggled of late to match such initial success with its ongoing reputation.

The reasons behind Apple’s fading glory are simple: First, the company’s products are no longer elite, in fact they’re so commonplace as to be blasé and boring. Second, the company has yet to once again significantly alter any aspect of the mobile world, leading many to consider Apple part of a bygone mobile era. Finally, Apple has been reluctant to change, as when any successful company hits stagnation there is an unwillingness to do things differently.

But lo and behold, it looks like Apple is finally trying to change its elitist persona; at least at a rate the company is comfortable with, rebranding and re-pricing its budget iPhone 5C line-up and older model iPads in an attempt to reach the lower end of the mobile market…at least in the developed world.

Now when I say budget, please don’t think that Apple is attempting to compete with anything that is actually in the budget smartphone market. Apple isn’t trying to reach the masses with its new pricing strategy, its just trying to reach those who want an Apple product but don’t want to pay an Apple price to get it.

Apple is reportedly listing a newly revamped 8GB iPhone 5c inFranceand theUKfor just over US$700, while UK carrier O2 is charging $680 for the phone off contract, $100 less than its 16GB older brother. Meanwhile, the device formerly known as the iPad 4, now the “iPad with Retina Display,” has had its price slashed, the 16GB version now available for $400 Wi-Fi only or $530 with network access.

As mentioned, the newly re-priced products are being made available across Europe, but won’t see any distribution inNorth Americabecause, as Apple explains, there simply is no need. Instead, the company is once again trying to extend its reach into foreign markets, something the iPhone 5c was initially tasked with, but which failed miserably at its former price point. By lowering the price on its ‘budget’ phone, Apple is hoping to draw in customers who want an Apple product, but who don’t really care about specifications or features.

“I don’t think people are looking at the specs when it comes to the [8-GB] iPhone 5c,” Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI Research, told the E-Commerce Times. “They’ll still buy it based on the appeal of the brand. This is a device that can appeal to people who perhaps thought the 5c with 16 or 32 GB was not low-cost enough for them.”

Further, by reviving the iPad 4 Apple is trying to give consumers a long term affordably solution, one clearly geared at larger corporate clients and the education sector, markets where device turnover is low and companies want tried and tested products.

In the end, while Apple thinks its offering budget alternatives, there is really nothing budget about anything Apple has done here. It’s simply slapped a slightly re-priced package on both current and antiquated products in hopes that someone somewhere might finally think its time to join the Apple ranks.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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