Friday, 16 August 2013

iPhone 4 Is the Most Popular iDevice

Apple Inc. is known for drawing crowds with its latest and greatest technology. But one of its most potent weapons in some markets came out three years ago.

The iPhone 4, originally released in 2010, is helping to power Apple's sales in price-conscious markets such as India and counter stiff competition from an array of rivals selling smartphones powered by Google Inc.'s Android software.

That three-year-old smartphone played a major role on Tuesday, when Apple surprised investors with third-quarter sales of 31.2 million iPhones, 20% more than a year earlier and 18% more than the 26.5 million analysts had been expecting.

While Apple said the current iPhone 5 is still its top seller by far, the company added that demand for the iPhone 4 is a key reason for the rise in smartphone sales.

Not that selling older models in emerging markets is a new strategy for the company. And it has potential downsides, as lower-priced phones can squeeze gross profit margins.

But Apple, despite its image as a premium player, is adopting more aggressive tactics to sell its oldest smartphone in markets where demand is growing quickly and many buyers have never purchased a smartphone before.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, said the number of first-time smartphone customers the iPhone 4 attracts are impressive. "We want to attract as many of these buyers as we can," he said during a conference call with analysts Tuesday.

The iPhone 4 also is helping to bolster revenue at a time the Cupertino, Calif., company is suffering from a lack of new models to attract such customers.

Apple has been developing a less-expensive smartphone model that is likely to be introduced later this year, people familiar with the situation have said. Unlike the iPhone 4 and 4S, which have smaller-sized screens, the lower-priced device will be the same size as the iPhone 5, but without the signature metal casing, according to these people.

The complete article at WSJ

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