The sales figures for iPhone, one of the best-selling smartphone models in Turkey, have turned upside down as a result of the recent calls for a boycott, fluctuations in the exchange rates and the expectations of a new model.
iPhone sales have plummeted by 60-65 percent in the past two months, according to the information Turkish daily Hürriyet says it received from relevant sources.
As the reason for the plunge in the sales, the report stated three issues, namely price hikes, calls for a boycott and the new iPhone model that is to be launched in the second week of September.
As might be expected, one of the major reasons for the decline in iPhone sales in Turkey is the price hike emanating from the fluctuations in exchange rates. To give an example, when iPhone X was released in December 2017, it was sold for TL 6,099 ($945) and one dollar was equivalent to TL 3.85. With the first hike on July 13, the price of the model soared to TL 7,499, a 23 percent rise. At the time, the dollar appreciated by 26 percent to TL 4.85. In other words, Apple reflected a lower hike on iPhone X than the rise in the dollar. Well, what will happen next? According to the information Hürriyet has received from the industry, Apple's iPhone stocks are not exhausted. When the stocks are exhausted, hikes will come back on the agenda. The fact that the dollar exchange rate reached TL 6.21 with a 28 percent upsurge in July means that the iPhone X will exceed TL 9,000 from TL 7,499.
One of the factors behind the decline in iPhone sales has been the boycott call by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a result of political and economic tensions experienced with the U.S.
"We will boycott American electronic products," Erdoğan said, adding that Turkey would produce a better version of every product previously bought with foreign currencies and export them.
Some people have started to switch to smartphone models produced by other domestic and foreign brands. It is estimated that this may have a negative effect on sales. Possible effects of the boycott call are expected to be better seen in sales figures to be released in September. The dealers with available iPhone stock aspire to sell these phones. Contract sales, especially those up to 48 months, are expected to continue until Sept. 1, the report said.
Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions on Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül for not releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.
Apple introduces its new smartphones and other innovations at its centers based in San Francisco, usually in the second week of September. There have already been rumors about the devices to be introduced in the event which will be attended by members of the press from around the world. Apple, which will diversify iPhones with three different models, is expected to offer its new technologies as well, pushing the users in Turkey, where the use of smart phones is common, to wait for the new iPhone models. Consumers are asking Apple stores how old their models will become when new iPhones are released, revealing their uneasiness.