The slowdown in iPhone sales due to most consumers holding on to their iPhone longer is leading Apple to try out new methods to increase sales. After reducing prices of popular iPhone models in China and Japan and running a trade-in program, the company has asked its technicians to push customers owning an out-of-warranty iPhone to upgrade to a new one.
Apple had made the move clear to its technicians back in December itself. It is a common move for mobile shops and service centers being run by retailers and network operators to push customers with an older smartphone to upgrade to a new one. They usually cite that the new phone will not have the same issues as their older phone while offering better performance, camera etc. However, this is the first time that Apple has taken such a step for selling iPhones. It goes against the whole renowned Apple Store experience.
In December, as Apple executives worried about demand, the company asked retail employees to promote the new iPhones using methods not seen before. Technicians were told to push iPhone upgrades to consumers with out-of-warranty devices. Senior sales staff had to make sure other retail workers were suggesting upgrades, and easels offering generous trade-in deals for the iPhone XR were erected in stores. Apple’s online homepage was also replaced with reduced iPhone pricing that required a trade-in of older models.
The results of such tactics are not yet clear and it is unlikely that we will ever know how much of an impact it had on iPhone sales.
It is possible that Apple adopting such aggressive sales measures led to retail head Angela Ahrendts quitting the company. The experience a customer gets inside an Apple Store or service center is usually considered to be leagues ahead of what one gets in a carrier or other mobile phone retailer shop. However, with Apple now adopting the same pushy sales techniques as them, the overall experience is bound to take a hit.