Free Newsletter

Europe needs a cheaper iPhone says Orange CEO

Stephane Richard says consumers are getting more price sensitive and a declining number can afford a top end iPhone


Published: 5 April, 2013

READ MORE: Europe | iPhone

Apple is used to being told it needs a cheaper iPhone to expand its presence in emerging markets, but now the same calls are coming from Europe. France Telecom's CEO, Stephane Richard, said in an interview that the smartphone was becoming too expensive for the bulk of consumers in the current economic crisis.

"Customers are more focused on price," Richard told Bloomberg. "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."

He said that the average European consumer was becoming far more price sensitive when it comes to mobile devices and contracts, keeping the same handsets for longer and shopping around for carrier deals.

This is partly because of the eurozone recession, but also because there are more alternatives (good looking Android handsets squeeze Apple, and of course, France Telecom Orange has suffered its own new challenger in the form of French low cost operator Free Mobile).

"We are in a period of changing consumer behavior," Richard said. "There are fewer early adopters, and probably with the next release of the iPhone this will be evident. Selling a phone for $600 is getting more and more difficult."

Recent studies by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showed Android making major market share gains across Europe, while iOS lost some share. Apple is rumored to be working on a cheaper iPhone, which would be plastic rather than aluminium and be larger and thicker than the classic design. However, there are fears that this would degrade its glossy brand perception. Apple will also be hoping that handset financing schemes, whether run by itself or carriers like T-Mobile USA, will help more midrange customers afford its full-priced iPhones.

Related Stories


  • email story Email
  • print story Print
  • digit digit
  • facebook facebook
  • Twitter Twitter
  • Linked-in Linked-In
  • Comments (0)


Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!

    BYOD: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth insight into the rise of BYOD policies within the enterprise and analysis of the impact the trend will have on IT departments,...

    Voice Command, Control and Search on Mobile Phones: Market Analysis & Forecasts

    This report provides a comprehensive insight into the growing importance of voice command, control and search on handsets, analysing...

    Data Centre Network Equipment: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the data centre network equipment market. Besides assessing the key market trends, sub-markets...

    HetNet Market Summary & Forecasts: Macro Cells, Small Cells & Wi-Fi Offload

    Carriers are struggling to cope with the explosion of data traffic on their networks, and the additional deployment of LTE and legacy...

    Over-the-Top Communications: Threats & Opportunities for Mobile Operators

    This report examines the implications of widespread adoption of mobile over-the-top IP communications for mobile operators, handset...

    Portable Gaming Consoles: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the PGC market. In addition to assessing the key market drivers, market barriers, vendor...

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...


You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *