The Android market isn’t really under much threat by Apple directly. In other words, the introduction of the iPhone XR isn’t going to cause Android users to rush to buy Apple’s iPhones.
Regarding direct threats, the new iPhones are a threat mostly to Samsung, which is really struggling right now. In the past, the market was neatly segregated. There were high end, premium smartphones, the low end, cheap smartphones, and then the mid-range, medium priced smartphones. Apple and Samsung owned the upper end of the market, where Apple took home between 80–90% of the profits, and Samsung taking in the rest. Samsung also basically owned the mid-range market and made most of the profit there, and Apple didn’t compete at all. The low-end market also had Samsung in it, there wasn’t much money to be made, but no one was making money there.
Now it has shifted. Apple started competing in the mid-range market, introducing lower cost models (either older designs, or a dedicated redesign like the iPhone SE) and completely ate Samsung’s lunch there. What’s more, adding to their woes is the launch of lacklustre products in response to the last few premium models that are hurting Samsung there as well. Finally, Chinese OEMs have come out and completely gobbled up Samsung’s shares in the rest of the pie. When people talk about Huawei passing Apple in market share, they don’t talk about where they got that share. Samsung’s share dropped precisely as much as Huawei’s share grew while Apple continued to experience steady growth in the market. Huawei passed Apple by eating Samsung’s lunch, dinner, and breakfast.
The other issue with Android is their genuine problems with the ecosystem, that still haven’t been solved. The Play Store is still optional, and Epic Games bypassing it in a Fortnight show just how easy it is to do, basically inviting malware onto people’s phones. There’s still a problem with updates that are making people finally get so frustrated with Android that they are switching to iPhones. It’s not happening in a tsunami, but when Apple offers software support for their hardware for 6 years and people who buy their flagship Android phones in 2018 struggle to get the 2018 version of Android, it’s a real problem. Apple offering the iPhone 7, which is still a great phone (and remember, still has a likely four years of software support behind it) at a price comparable to any mid-range Android phone, it’s a lure.
The iPhone XR will be an excellent option for people who want the iPhone X features at a slightly lower cost, but it’s still a premium device. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are the real attractions for Android users, and unless those problems are fixed, it will continue bleeding the paying customers over to iOS. They’ll still get the developing markets, but that’s not where the money is. Always remember, market share is meaningless if you aren’t making any money.
The basic concept being that the end users of the current day are well aware of what they need regardless of all marketing campaigns. Considering the critical takeaways from the XR, still, the new processor is something to be looked into while considering 750 USD or a little over Rs.56000 price tag. Apple never mentioned that XR is a budget phone and also, they are well aware it’s not.
XR is targeting the iPhone users who still use a 7 or 7S and also older ones. XR is a downgrade from iPhone 8 plus is something to be noted. Therefore, it has almost minimum to zero impact even on the previous generation device users.
Talking about Android users. If they were about to spend 750 USD, they could easily buy a Pixel 3 (concerning google pricing scheme) which will be a full HD 5.5 inch OLED screen phone running on SD 845 SOC. And also consider that the display of XR is LCD, and the bezels and chin are a bit bigger than its siblings X, XS and XS max.
To beat android, which is not Apple’s motive. They must price it competitive in countries like India and China where Android dominates. But sadly, the same 750 USD phone costs 1068 USD (INR 80000) in India, which is more expensive than Note 9 selling at 940 USD (INR 70,500) roughly.
Technically this device attracts people from the following segments:
- Old gen iPhone users from 7 and behind.
- Android users who need to try a change.
- An average consumer who has no experience with an OLED panel, 1080p display or a QHD panel (experience with high-end boards will make your eyes realise the quality drop from normal viewing distance)
- People who love colours and IOS (damn the colours are fantastic).
This device is not an Android rival. It’s a push for their old consumers who haven’t updated their device in a while.
iPhone XR is a phone that costs Rs.56250 which is actually the same cost as the iPhone 8 when it was launched last year. Since the latest top models, the XS and the XS Max starting over Rs.75000, there will be a lot of people who wouldn’t be able to afford one them being so expensive. And that was fine by last year, because the iPhone 6, 7 and 8 looked pretty similar, so people could just buy an older model for a cheaper price. However, with the iPhone X being so popular, people would have wanted to buy an iPhone with a modern look.
Apple couldn’t continue the iPhone X at a lower price, because it would eat into the sales of the XS, again, for the same reason as mentioned above. Hence, the iPhone XR is launched in the market.
So, in a way, Apple is catering to those people who badly want an iPhone, but lack the money, while also not losing profit, making it a win-win situation.