We still haven’t had any official word on Apple’s new iPhone 7, but that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill churning in recent weeks. According to the tech trackers at TechRadar, the latest innovation from Apple HQ could actually hit the shelves earlier than planned this year.
Quoting a “reliable source”, TechRadar suggested the new phone could arrive before the customary September timeline often used by Apple. However, the site does also say that people shouldn’t “expect to see it before the summer”, which means those anticipating the launch of the most advanced iPhone yet are still in a state of limbo.
However, while consumers are still left wondering what might be in store later this year, some financial analysts are a little more certain about what lays in wait. In a nutshell, various number crunchers, including Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, are concerned that Apple’s global appeal is waning and sales could fall in 2016.
If that’s the case, Apple needs to act now and seriously reconsider switching up its global marketing campaigns. According to paid media expert Florent Guedon of London-based agency Greenlight Digital, even the largest companies need to carefully consider their global digital strategy if they want to thrive.
Pointing to marked difference in digital landscapes around the world, Guedon advised large businesses to “customise their business strategy in order to fit the unique cultural dimensions of each specific market”.
iPhone Sales Starting to Flat Line
It’s no secret that Apple’s popularity is starting to flat line. As outlined in an article by The Guardian at the start of 2016, Q4 of 2015 saw Apple sell 74.8 million iPhones, which is comparable to the 74.46 million sold in Q4 of 2014.
Although far from disastrous, the lack of significant growth has been enough to cause some financial experts to criticise Apple’s lack of diversity. In fact, if Adnaan Ahmad of Berenberg is correct, Apple is a “one-product company”.
And it’s not only sales of the iPhone 6s that seem to be worrying investors. As we’ve said, Morgan Stanley’s Huberty is also concerned and as she has predicted a 6% fall in iPhone sales in 2016 which would mean the iPhone 7 would sell less units that its predecessor. If this is the case, then Apple might need to reconsider its global marketing campaigns.
As Guedon has suggested, “glocal” marketing is necessary for companies of all sizes and this is something the American Marketing Association (AMA) agrees with. Outlining the process of creating a glocal marketing strategy, the AMA states that companies need to cooperate in order to achieve “joint value identification” between a company’s core values and the local market it’s trying to target.
Ignoring Local Markets Could Cost Apple
This could be one area in which Apple is currently falling short. In terms of pricing, BGR has shown that prices around the world can differ by more than $200 (Canada = $636 vs. Czech Republic $858).
This kind of discrepancy is something that customers will not only be aware of thanks to the internet, but it’s something they’ll resent.
Indeed, Apple’s reluctance to standardise and, moreover, lower its prices is also something that’s hurting it in regions such as Africa where StatCounter Global Stats estimated Android’s market share to be 45% compared to iOS’s <10% share in 2014.
If the iPhone 7 is to thwart the predictions of analysts such as Huberty then it needs to focus on each region as if it were an individual asset rather than a variant of the same thing.
Although the company’s recent marketing campaign showing the best iPhone 6s images captured around the world is a step towards this idea of “glocalization”, there’s still more work to do. While there’s no doubt the iPhone 7 will sell well, if Apple doesn’t address a few issues, then it’s highly likely it won’t sell as well as many at the company hope.