What’s happening with the pricing of local devices?
Yesterday we wrote about MyPhone’s Infinity 2, the company’s latest flagship device, and boy did you guys let us know what you thought of its pricing. For those who don’t know, MyPhone’s latest flagship is priced at Php 12,799, which is in line with the price of its previous flagship announced last year. Unfortunately for MyPhone, the biggest difference between 2014 and 2015 is that there’s a lot more bang for the buck international phones playing in both the mid-range (Zenfone 2) and the lower mid-range market (Flash Plus, A7000, Honor 4X, M1 Note).
So what, you’re probably saying. They should have just adjusted the prices of their phones before they launched it. While that may seem like the likely solution to MyPhone’s pricing woes, in reality it isn’t that simple. Since MyPhone doesn’t make their own phones, and instead rely on ODMs like Tinno to make them, there’s a certain lead time needed from product design, creation and local release. Local brands have to coordinate with their ODMs of choice months in advance before getting their product to market. Once their deals are made, brands then have to decide on a price before getting their product out, which they agree upon with their ODM. MyPhone simply slashing the price to compete with sudden releases isn’t financially viable for any company, which kind of explains the less than impressive pricing.
To put it bluntly, many local brands were caught by surprise with the release of international offerings like the Alcatel Flash Plus. It’s a sentiment that’s been shared with us with several conversations we had with local brands that don’t want to be identified (for obvious reasons). Many local brands are now faced with a big dilemma for devices launching in the same price range as the current crop of bang for the buck phones: either launch them with their current pricing that’s noncompetitive in the current environment, or postpone the launch and shelf the product.
To be fair to MyPhone, the company does recognize the current pricing environment and have promised better, more affordable and more importantly competitive phones in the near future, specifically, around June – July. That’s alright by us – better competition in the marketplace means overall cheaper prices for phones everywhere, and isn’t that the point of capitalism?