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MINI Doesn’t Need a Cheaper Model and Neither Does the iPhone

Let’s put these Apple must release a cheap iPhone to survive reports to rest, shall we? What better way to do this than to compare it to the car market. When it comes to a car comparison, the iPhone is a MINI.

Just like the iPhone, the MINI has competitors such as the Fiat 500 and Ford Ka. Despite these newer models from other marques, it hasn’t lost it’s appeal. Sure, these cars have eroded some of the MINI’s market share but it still remains relevant.

Just like the iPhone, the MINI is a prestige marque, a luxury item of a high quality. This doesn’t mean they’re expensive, far from it, it simply means that they’re not cheap. And by cheap I mean not built out of plastic with a small, low resolution screen and slow processor.

Just like the iPhone, the MINI it has its fair share of haters and reports that it’s underpowered, too small, lacks innovation and buying one would be stupid.

Just like the iPhone, the MINI hasn’t been radically redesigned but instead it’s been improved upon little by little.

And just like the iPhone, the MINI isn’t the cheapest, in fact it isn’t even cheap. The MINI starts at over £11,500. Let’s put that into perspective against some of the most popular “cheap” cars here in the UK.

Good Car Bad Car reports the market share for UK car manufacturer sales of new vehicles as of December 2012:

  1. VW Group (Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat, Skoda, VW) – 17.2%
  2. General Motors (Vauxhall, Chevrolet) – 13.5%
  3. Ford – 12.7%
  4. BMW & MINI – 11.9%

VW Group by far is the most popular manufacturer in the UK but that’s to be expected since it’s comprised of eight marques. The cheapest vehicle they offer is the Seat Mii at just under £8,000. £3,500 less than the MINI.

GM have only two marques in the UK, Vauxhall and Chevrolet. The rather cheap looking Spark costs just over £8,500. £3,000 less than the MINI.

Ford, despite the size of the company, are just one marque. Their cheapest vehicle, the Ka, is again just over £8,500. Again, £3,000 less than the MINI.

BMW & MINI’s market share is a rather healthy, but not leading, 11.9%. If we ignore the MINI, the cheapest BMW is £17,000 with it’s entry level 1-Series.

There’s a lot of other manufacturers in the UK with a much smaller market share and comparatively priced vehicles. Nissan offer the Pixo, one of the cheapest new cards in the UK, at just over £7,000 which is, quite frankly, appalling.

Whilst Apple may or may not release a cheaper iPhone, they need to release a cheaper iPhone about as much as MINI needs a cheaper model. MINI are doing very well without an £8,000 model, they don’t need to chase the bottom end of the market and and all it would do is cheapen the brand as a whole.