Even as Apple CEO Tim Cook has earlier ruled out of cheap or junk smartphones from the iPhone maker, industry players are projecting that emerging trends will eventually force tech giant to rethink and make the necessary adjustments on its in-placed business model.
One area that needs serious and in-depth review is the iOS device retail pricing, this according to ARM Holdings executive Antonio Viana. In an interview with CNET, Viana said that the mobile device market is experiencing a gradual slow down and Apple can no longer ignore this creeping reality.
Both the smartphone and tablet market segments will take the brunt of increasing saturation, which Viana said is especially true for the iPhone.
While the latest ComScore report has indicated that Apple's share in the U.S. smartphone market grew 41.8 per cent in the December 2013 quarter, analysts noted that an emerging problem is undeniable.
The company's total sales missed the earning guidance and market expectations as shown in the financial results provided by Apple on January 28.
ComScore also reported that Samsung is a bit too far from Apple to become a threat on the latter's hold of the U.S. market but the former is surely gaining fast with its plethora of Android-powered Galaxy mobile phones.
By the end of 2013, Samsung shipped out a whopping 300 million plus of smartphones all over the world, easily dwarfing over Apple's figures in the twelve months that spanned the past year. Analysts agree that while the South Korean tech giant's profit margin shrunk a bit in Q4 2013, the firm is no doubt the global king of smartphones.
Samsung can credit its success to the multi-pronged device business model it implements. Aside from cutting away Apple's shares in the flagship smartphone territory, thanks to the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, the company also makes a killing in the mid-range and low-end segments, market experts said.
It is undeniable that Samsung, Viana told CNET, "does an exceptional job of really spreading itself pretty widely in terms of the technology it puts into the marketplace."
Pretty soon Apple will feel the heat not only from Samsung but also from other players that are willing to play the game that Cook has already labelled as junk, Viana added.
"They are going to feel pressure ... They're going to have to do something," the ARM executive was reported by CNET as saying.
Apple, however, is not required to go junk in order to deal with the issue. Better yet, the tech titan can simply tweak its iPhone pricing, beginning with the iPhone 6. Since the device is rumoured to rollout in two builds, one model can be marketed as the more affordable variant that will replace the iPhone 5C.
And to ensure that the 5C mistakes will not be repeated this year, Apple has to make a big concession and issue the iPhone 6, at least a variant of it, as really an affordable device to capture audiences that are beyond Apple's traditional reach.
Should this be the case, the chance is high that the iPhone 6 on release date, or more correctly an edition of the handset, will be a consumer lure or cheaper, contrary to earlier suggestions that the price tag will be premium by $100.