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‘iPhones for everyone’: Apple’s premium device tops Home Credit’s phone sales in 2023

Lance Spencer Yu

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‘iPhones for everyone’: Apple’s premium device tops Home Credit’s phone sales in 2023

IPHONE. Home Credit's chief sales officer Puneet Suneja highlights how the iPhone became their top-selling phone brand in 2023.

Lance Spencer Yu/Rappler

This was the first time that the iPhone was Home Credit's most popular brand. Usually, their top-sellers consisted of affordable models from Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, and Realme.

MANILA, Philippines – The iPhone is for everybody – at least if you ask Home Credit.

According to the sales data of consumer finance company Home Credit, Filipinos purchased more iPhones than any other mobile brand in the past year.

“2023 was the first year that [the iPhone] was the number one brand. Prior to that, it was always the other Android brands,” Home Credit chief sales officer Puneet Suneja told Rappler in an interview on Monday, May 13.

In 2023, Filipinos bought more than P6 billion worth of iPhones through Home Credit, which was ten times more than the total in 2022. That translates to close to 200,000 units purchased for the year, mostly using the finance firm’s popular installment plans.

“iPhones are expensive. But now? No longer,” Suneja said. “We’re making iPhones [easier to buy] for everyone.”

Prior to 2023, Home Credit’s customer base heavily favored Android phones. Their top-selling phone brands often included affordable models from Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, and Realme.

In fact, Suneja said that Home Credit’s iPhone sales was “much less” in 2022 – not even 10% of what they sold in 2023. Home Credit didn’t even have an iOS app until recently.

“For some time, we did not even have an iOS app. The demand from our customer base was really about the Android phones, and Android phones were the only relevant ones for us,” Suneja said. “Two years back, we decided that iPhones are a [thing] that our customers aspire for.”

The boom in Home Credit’s Apple phone sales coincided with the release of the latest iPhone 15, which sparked renewed aspirations among Filipinos to own an iPhone. In September 2023, large crowds lined up for hours in Greenbelt 3 to await the iPhone 15’s midnight launch.

Home Credit jumped on the hype, offering older models at lower prices. After the launch of the iPhone 15, the consumer finance company began promoting installment deals that brought the iPhone 11 down to just P1,203 per month. For comparison, the iPhone 15’s price at the time started at more than P56,000.

Take note, however, that this jump in the number of iPhone sales is based just on data from Home Credit, which only counts when someone buys a phone using the company’s credit services.

This means that it may not reflect an overall increase in iPhone sales across the Philippine market. In fact, the country’s smartphone market remains to be dominated by Transsion (manufacturer of Tecno, Infinix, and Itel phones), Realme, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi – which take up more than 83% of market share, according to the International Data Corporation’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. It’s also difficult to validate the number of iPhones sold as Apple itself no longer reports sales data.

Nevertheless, Home Credit hit a record in iPhone sales in 2023, so what made the year so different? Suneja believes that there are two main reasons for the change in their customer’s buying behavior.

“One is we do believe that, yes, the economy is growing, there’s better purchasing power, and even the higher segment of customers have started to look at Home Credit as a better option for them than swiping their card from some certain instances,” Suneja told Rappler.

This could suggest that the demographic of those accessing credit through the company is changing. Low-income earners make up the core of Home Credit’s business at around 40% of their clients, but that has also expanded “into all segments of the customer base,” according to chief marketing officer Sheila Paul.

Alongside their strengthening purchasing power, many of Home Credit’s customers are also beginning to eye more expensive phones for the first time ever.

“The aspiration of the mass segment is changing. Some of them who are happy with a P5,000 to P6,000 phone are saying, wait, now I can actually get an iPhone because I just have to save P50 to P60 a day, and I can actually buy a phone. And I can get an iPhone. So, that aspiration is what’s driving some of that,” Suneja told Rappler.

In 2023, Home Credit financed a total of P30 billion worth of mobile phones, taking their tally to 12.5 million mobile phone units sold since 2013. Over the last decade, Home Credit has disbursed P320 billion in loans across 23 million loan transactions. –

To beat the heat, Filipinos buy more than 1,000 aircons a day on credit, says finance firm

To beat the heat, Filipinos buy more than 1,000 aircons a day on credit, says finance firm

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Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.