Ex-CEO: Apple should focus on cheaper iPhone, developing markets

Should Apple focus less on the latest technological innovation and more on appealing to consumers with less to spend?

iphone cheaper sculley emerging markets apple bloomberg

Ex CEO of Apple, John Sculley, believes that the tech giant needs to focus on cheaper products to tap into emerging markets.

Speaking to Bloomberg, the former CEO's comments relate to the rumors surrounding Apple's potential plans to release a cheaper version of the popular iPhone.

Smartphone saturation continues to rise worldwide, and due to this, Sculley believes that Apple will have to rely more heavily on emerging markets in order to retain the lion's share of the market. The CEO, at Apple between '80s and '90s commented:

"Apple needs to adapt to a very different world. As we go from $500 smartphones to even as low, for some companies, as $100 for a smartphone, you've got to dramatically rethink the supply chain and how you can make these products and do it profitably."

Sculley continued to say that Tim Cook was the "exactly the right leader" to keep Apple afloat against increasing competition from rival firms including Samsung, due to his supply-chain experience and expertise. Commenting that although there was "nothing wrong" with the iPhone 5, Samsung was closing the gap in terms of competitiveness due to the rival firm's smartphone features.

"Samsung is an extraordinarily good competitor," Sculley said. "The differentiation between a Samsung Galaxy and an iPhone 5 is not as great as we used to see."

Recent reports suggested that Apple missed its manufacturing targets this quarter based on estimated iPhone demand, and the firm apparently only ordered  half of the 65 million iPhone displays  it anticipated for the first calendar quarter of 2013. Perhaps there is something in Sculley's view, although whether focusing on cheaper products would be the right direction for the tech giant remains debatable -- or whether it simply should concentrate on providing better features than competitors. 

Apple's marketing boss Phil Schiller also disagrees with the ex-Apple chief's view. Recently, he ruled out the possibility of a cheap phone from the Cupertino., Calif. firm, ruling that cheapness will "never be the future of Apple products."