/// Belt-Tightening in Europe Bolsters Case for Cheaper iPhone
Martin Hajek Unnerved by the continued fragility of their economy, Europeans are cutting back spending on mobile devices. And that could pose problems for companies peddling pricey, marquee handsets. This according to France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard, who told Bloomberg that his customers are increasingly searching out cheaper wireless plans and less expensive handsets. With consumers demanding lower prices, Richard says, smartphone manufacturers like Apple may have to consider offering new devices targeted at the price-sensitive end of the market. “We are in a period of changing consumer behavior,” Richard said. “Selling a phone for $600 is getting more and more difficult.” Richard stopped short of calling for Apple to introduce a cheaper version of the iPhone, but his implication could hardly be more clear. The premium smartphone market is reaching saturation, and if the company wants to sustain growth and increase market share it should consider rolling out a lower-end version of its flagship handset. “There are fewer early adopters, and probably with the next release of the iPhone this will be evident,” Richard said. “Except for a few hundred thousand people who will buy the latest iPhone — except for that category of people — the majority of the market will be difficult.” Interesting theory.
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Belt-Tightening in Europe Bolsters Case for Cheaper iPhone