Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been working to try to find a foothold in emerging markets like China and India, but because those markets are emerging, there hasn’t been a lot of money for the premium-priced iDevices on store shelves. While Apple has made progress, it still need to make significant growth in the country, as the iPhone was only No. 6 in sales in China. While a lot of talk has been that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will introduce a lower-level smartphone that is more affordable for the average consumer in China and India, the company is taking a different tack right now before any new device were to launch.
In what is somewhat a novel concept in China, but old hat for many of us Westerners, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is introducing an installment payment plan for consumers in China, in the hopes that smaller monthly payments would make the current iDevices on the market more affordable for consumers. This new concept would allow consumers who buy an iPhone or MacBook through the Apple Store within a price range of 300 to 30,000 yuan ($48 to $4,822) to make installment payments on a China Merchants Bank Co. credit card for 12, 18 or 24 months. The interest rate ranges from zero to 8.5 percent.
Whether a new, lower-level iPhone will come out remains to be seen – it’s still in the conjecture file as news goes – but this new idea may help Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) determine if there is a market for a lower-priced phone, or whether this financing plan will make the current crop of iDevices more attainable for the masses, thus de-emphasizing the “need” for a different iPhone price point.
What is your take? Will this help or hurt Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in China? Do you think this will affect the launch of any rumored low-level iPhone? Give us your thoughts in the comments section!
DISCLOSURE: I hold no positions in any stock mentioned.
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