The iPhone has a target on its back. After more than half a decade dominating the coveted smartphone on the market, Apple’s must-have novelty is wearing off in Asia, says Reuters.
According to the report, Apple’s phone has been so successful in Asia that areas of the region are suffering from “iPhone fatigue,” leading to “a desire to be different” from users that are looking for a phone that not everyone sports. You’ll be hard pressed not to find someone who doesn’t own an iPhone in China. The ownership of an iPhone has become so commonplace that smartphone owners are deciding on switching devices.
Android has been the primary culprit for the iPhone’s declining presence in Asia, and Samsung is to blame. The Korean company has been slowly but surely chipping away at Apple’s market share by pricing and launching its phones for the low-end, up to the luxury end of smartphones – and by luxury we mean $15,000 Samsung phones that you can’t find out in the West. At the same time, Samsung phones are riding the K-pop wave that was popularized before and after (especially Psy). This trend, Reuters reports, is especially prevalent in Thailand where Korean music and TV shows are popular.
Smartphone buyers are also discovering the value in a larger smartphone screen sizes that verge on being the size of a mini tablet. There’s a boon to larger screen sizes that make productivity a lot easier, and these devices also happen to be Android devices. In Beijing for instance, Samsung’s Galaxy Notes are the rage, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S3.
But Singapore is one indicator of this marked shift toward devices that aren’t related to Apple. Apple once had a 72 percent share stronghold among smartphone users last year January 2012 in the country, but dropped to 50 percent this month (and one year later) by January 2013. In Hong Kong, the total percentage of iOS devices hovers around 30 percent, down from the 45 percent of iOS devices that existed last year. And both countries are typically indicators of how devices will perform in the West.
The declining brand loyalty to iPhone devices isn’t a huge surprise. Apple device owners have expressed their discontent with the iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5, and have on occasion, said that twinkle in Steve Job’s eye, which converted fans into Apple fanboys, has been fading slowly as Tim Cook’s fingerprints begin to get on Apple devices. “After Steve Jobs died, it seems the element of surprise in product launches isn’t that great anymore,” Janet Chen, a Hong Kong based advertising professional, told Reuters.