Talk about David and Goliath. A small Chinese company that barely makes up a percent of Apple’s gigantic size is selling the Coolpad 8060 smartphone in droves, surpassing even the popular iPhone in its home country.
The company, also named Coolpad, is just one of several smartphone merchants that are outselling Apple by offering devices under $160 or less. That’s less than one-fifth the cost of buying the premium iPhone. Despite its smartphone sales doubling in 2012, Apple only ranked 6th place among the top smartphone vendors over the year, behind domestic manufacturers Lenovo, ZTE, and Huawei. Coolpad managed to reach the third spot, while Samsung came out on top.
Apple’s lack of response for a low-cost smartphone solution has limited its traction in China, as the success of the Coolpad clearly shows the inexpensive preference of the up-and-coming Chinese middle class. Besides the price factor, Android has also successfully achieved in becoming a household name and the better choice to obtaining a smartphone.
Despite the troubling news, Apple cannot just overlook the emerging Chinese market. In fact, the Cupertino-based company has plans to reaching out China’s dominant middle class: setting up more stores, allowing installment payment plans, and striking a deal with the country’s largest phone company in terms of subscribers, China Mobile.
If the rumors are true, the so-called iPhone Math could also be Apple’s answer for a low-cost iPhone to target the emerging markets.