Basing on recent reports from Strategy Analytics and IDC, the iPhone maker will need to conduct an across the board review of its pricing models for iOS devices. Both research firms indicated that while sales figures remain high and the iPhone and iPad still rule their respective market, the growth factor for both devices has become worrisome.
According to Apple Insider, global iPhone sales only posted 13 per cent of growth as of December 2013 while its Android rivals galloped into an incredible 63 per cent jump on sales during the last 12 months ending in December.
The data was provided by Strategy Analytics.
The same trend is seen in the tablet competition. While the iPads remain the most popular and profitable tablet in the market, Apple can ill afford to be complacent as Android challengers are catching up with dizzying pace, IDC said in its report.
The most notable surge came from Lenovo, which in Q4 2013 has registered growth sales of more than 300 per cent, IDC told Apple Insider.
A common denominator seen by analysts on the rising Apple rivals, both in the smartphone and tablet computer segment, is affordable pricing. While the tech giant is the undisputed profit king, its growth prospects, however, is stunted by its devices' premium price tags.
In other words, Apple may be outselling the competition but the company will not be outpacing for too long. And the blame points to market saturation, which is already true for smartphones and should be forthcoming for tablets, and Apple's pricing standards.
The findings from Strategy Analytics and IDC are applicable to all markets, meaning even in mature markets like the United States and Europe, gadget shoppers have become budget-conscious - giving more premium to savings than brand.
As Android phones and slates become more attractive by sporting powerful specs but asking for fewer cash, they become viable alternatives for buyers, the separate reports suggested.
The date somehow supported the market sentiments following Apple's financial report this week, which showed that the tech giant missed its previous guidance. The iPhone sales, for instance, in the 2013 holiday quarter amounted to a whopping 51 million units.
Analysts, however, have previously forecasted no less than 56 million. Hence for the current quarter, downgrades from market watchers started coming out, hinting that Apple could soon graduate as a growth-engine company.
In order to veer away from this possibility, Apple will need to up its sales numbers for Q1 2014 and it can do so by offering innovative specs and killer features then packaging them with more reasonable pricing, starting off with the iPhone 6, analysts said.
Such move will contradict earlier suggestions that the iPhone 6 price tag will be more premium, spiking up by up to $100 on launch date.
Some analysts argue that it is unlikely of Apple to pull down iPhone and iPad prices in order to protect its gross margin but experts insist that bits of price discount could prove beneficial in the long run.
There is little doubt that better priced iPhones and iPads for 2014 will surely draw more buys and cash to Apple.
Boasting of 64-bit A8 chip, solar wireless charging panel, Liquidmetal casing, sapphire glass cover/coating and iOS 8, the iPhone 6 release date is pegged to happen between June and September 2014.