Apple stuck between augmented reality and affordability

Apple has made a serious foray into augmented reality with its latest range of products.

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Published: Wed 13 Sep 2017, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Sep 2017, 11:18 PM

There's a problem of plenty for smartphone buyers. Customers are spoilt for choice because there's something for everyone that suits every budget. But when a pioneering company, a tech behemoth, a towering giant makes the 'greatest leap forward' with the launch of iPhone X, we are talking of changes in how people view smartphones in the future. But will they buy it? Apple has made a serious foray into augmented reality with its latest range of products - a leap of faith, shall we say, which makes us wonder if it will be the first technology company that hits the trillion-dollar sweet spot.
Its shares have already risen 52 per cent this year and current market value stands at $830 million. Will it make history by the end of the year? That would depend on how well the iPhone X ('ten' as CEO Tim Cook calls it) and other models perform in a competitive market led by Android-driven Samsung. The company's greatest leap has also been its most expensive ever. The $1,000 device could boost Apple's earnings next year by around $6 per share, but the question remains if there is an appetite for this gadget even if it's from the Big A when there are others companies offering lower-cost models. Not just Samsung, there are Chinese competitors like Huawei and Xiaomi snapping at Apple's heels, who want to take a large chunk of its profits.
China is a market that Apple has not been able to crack despite its best efforts. India is another, and the Cupertino-based company's approach in Asia has been sell cheaper or earlier versions of its products, which hasn't boosted sales as expected. In a sense, iPhones have remained an elitist product in emerging markets. They have a presence there, but are out of reach, because Samsung offers something similar or even beats it in some cases. But technological prowess could be the game-changer if Apple plays its cards well. If it has to beat its main rival in sales, the company must stick to the pioneering spirit that brought augmented reality to its latest phone. That's a great way to go for Apple but the ground reality is about affordability for the masses.

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