Has the iPhone Reached its Peak in Asia?

Apple’s darling, the iPhone, may be selling well in the United States, but in some Asian countries, a collective groan has arisen, a groan of discontent and boredom that may indicate that Apple’s worm has turned on the hotly-pursued continent.

Three years ago, iOS devices dominated in Singapore. Now, however, a mere 50% of mobile devices run iOS in Singapore, a dramatic drop from the 72% rate it enjoyed in January of 2012. Android devices now account for 43%.

In Hong Kong, a meager, embarrassing 30% of mobile devices run iOS, down from 45% the previous year.

“Apple is still viewed as a prestigious brand, but there are just so many other cool smartphones out there now that the competition is just much stiffer,” the Toronto Sun article, written by Reuters, quoted Tom Clayton, an executive at a Singapore-based app developing company, as saying.

Look on the subway system in Hong Kong: previously, the hipsters would be typing away on their iPhone devices. Now, though, Samsung devices rule the roost, which shows that the polish on the Apple may well have worn off.

Another person quoted in the article pointed out an interesting possible reason for the iPhone’s decline in popularity in Asia: it’s become too cool.

It used to be that the iPhone was only within reach of the elite. Now, most anyone can own an iPhone, a phenomenon that certainly exists in the United States thanks to all manner of prepaid providers that have made the iPhone accessible to the unwashed masses.

Perhaps that saturation has ruined the experience for the Asian customers, who no longer feel part of an exclusive club.

“It’s become so commonplace to see people with iPads and iPhones so you lose your cool edge having one,” Narisara Konglua, a marketing manager in Thailand, told Reuters.

Whether or not the iPhone truly loses its footing in Asia remains to be seen, particularly since Apple is paying attention to the Chinese market.

Will Apple’s efforts in China pay off and cause a favorable ripple effect across the Asian continent, or will their Asian tree of success simply wither away and die?

[via: Toronto Sun]

Image credit: iPhone Overload