Despite the massive growth rate in smartphone and tablet ownership in China last year, more than a few sobering realities and impediments to technology adoption exist inside of the world’s biggest mobile community.
The iPhone 5, for example, costs about as much as the “average urban worker” takes home in six weeks. Consequently, industry analysts believe that Android devices are outpacing iPhones in terms of sales in China primarily due to the price tag burden that comes with Apple products.
Nonetheless, Apple isn’t about to undercut its prices to better compete with Android. But Apple is willing to find innovative ways to expand its market presence. Just this week, word came to light that Apple is now allowing Chinese consumers to make installment payments on iPhones and even MacBooks.
Buyers in some cases have upwards of two years to pay off their purchases, which come with interest and financing fees of varying levels.
“There is an enormous mid-range consumer market that they are not tapping into,” Mark Natkin, managing director of a Beijing-based market research firm, tells Bloomberg. “They’re trying to figure out how to make products more accessible to that market segment. This is a good step in that direction.”
A growing number of tech industry analysts believe that consumer tech financing will emerge as a major market inside of China in the coming years as Chinese consumers begin to develop an insatiable appetite for today’s leading technologies – technologies that still come with a hefty price tag.