Status-conscious consumers who want to carry the iPhone but can’t afford it may soon become iPhone owners. Apple is targeting a date in March to unveil a new low-cost iPhone and an updated iPad, to kick off a potentially record-setting year for product launches and heavyweight marketing campaigns.
The announcement will mark Apple’s first major event since a new MacBook Pro debuted in October. Like the company’s other recent launches, it’s expected to be an online presentation.
The new cheaper iPhone is likely to enter the Nigerian market almost immediately through the back door and from affluent Nigerian travelers.
Apple is coming off a holiday quarter that far exceeded predictions, helping quell fears that supply-chain problems would hurt sales. Now the company is setting its sights higher for 2022.
The March announcements — along with the usual flood of product news expected later in 2022 — suggest Apple will introduce its biggest crop of new devices ever in a single year. This will include a cheaper iPhone.
The new phone will be the first update to the iPhone SE model in two years, adding 5G network capabilities, an improved camera and a faster processor. But the design itself is expected to be similar to the current version, which debuted in April 2020.
The new iPad, meanwhile, will be an update to the Air model that features a faster processor and 5G. The company is also planning a new Mac with Apple-designed chips, which could also come as early as March.
Apple, Samsung and the top phone brands in Nigeria
Apple has remained the premium phone brand in Nigeria and the most expensive. It has consistently pursued a premium brand approach and an aspirational marketing strategy. Samsung is the best-selling brand because of its brand portfolio of both cheap and expensive models, as well as availability.
The other top phone brands and contenders in the highly price sensitive Nigerian phone market are Xiaomi, Huawei, Infinix, Techno and Nokia. With the influx of hundreds of brands from China and other parts of the world, the competition for share of voice and share of pocket in the Nigerian phone market remains fierce.
Red and Blue Ocean strategy in the phone market.
The phone market has been a classic example of the blue and red ocean strategy in place. Apple has been playing under the blue ocean strategy (creating new uncontested market space), while Samsung has dabbled between the red and the blue. For all the others, they are scrambling in the red ocean, but have remained profitable given Nigeria’s 200 million-plus population.
Apple is seen to be the more elitist brand because of its high price tag. A cheaper iPhone might shake up the market and eat into the Samsung market. Market leaders Apple and Samsung are quick to keep in mind the mighty rise of Nokia and Blackberry. Both brands have almost disappeared into history. With clever PR and branding, Apple and Samsung will want to write a different history.