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iPhone SE unlikely to be big in Asia, report says

iPhone SE unlikely to be big in Asia, report says

Apple pointedly mentioned China in its unveiling of the iPhone SE, highlighting how much it's targeted at the Asian market. But today it seems the smaller, cheaper handset may not be such a big hit in that part of the world, after all.

According to the Wall Street Journal, users of China's Twitter equivalent Weibo have nicknamed the handset 'The Red iPhone', after Xiaomi's Redmi range, which sells for less than $100.

Which isn't exactly the image Apple, which specialises in 'premium' gadgets, is going for.

The paper notes that only one in five Chinese iPhone buyers own a 4-inch smartphone. Sure, that could be because the only 4-inch handset available was the two-and-a-half-year-old iPhone 5S. Or it could be because Chinese consumers like bigger phones.

Apple's iPhone 5C flopped in China, because of its perceived lack of luxury status. That could be why Apple canned the bright colours in favour of more muted, premium tones for the SE.

The handset might also struggle in India. While the iPhone 5S did well there, it was still much more expensive than rivals.

This is because of taxes and other fees that the country imposes. The SE will have the same problem – while it will sell for $399 in the US and £359 in the UK, that will be bumped up to $599 in India, or around £422.

In a market where – admittedly less powerful – rival handsets sell for under $100, Apple might have a tough time convincing punters to pay more.


Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch

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