When consumers in five emerging market countries were asked to name pick their choice of connected devices, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) came out on top. The research was completed by marketing company Upstream and research firm Ovum, and polled some 4,500 consumers in China, Vietnam, India, Brazil and Nigeria.
When compared with results of a similar study done last year, Apple’s rating rose from 21% to 32%, while the rating for Samsung Electronics fell from 32% to 29%. Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) remained in third place, but its rating fell from around 20% to 10%, and BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) replaced HTC in fourth place.
Samsung continues to lead in sales however, due largely to its wide variety of smartphone products at a wide range of price points. The iPhone 5c, Apple’s low-cost phone, goes for $549 and is still far too pricey for wide adoption in emerging markets. And even though it is less expensive than the iPhone 5s, the 5c trails the 5s in sales in China.
According to the South China Morning Post, the most popular iPhone in China is the iPhone 5, followed by the 5s, with the 5c bringing up the rear. The price difference between the 5c and the 5s is a mere $100, and the added status for owning a 5s is apparently worth the price premium.
While strivers everywhere may want to own an Apple smartphone or tablet, Apple does not seem to want to meet them even half way. It is hard to argue that Apple has been unsuccessful with the products it has, and casting a wider net may damage the company’s brand image, which would do Apple no good at all.