It’s a well-known secret that Apple has been putting in a lot of efforts to ensure an increase in its market share. India is an important market for Apple especially after considering the fact that India is now the second largest smartphone market in the World. In fact, it was for this very reason that Tim Cook himself made a visit to India and tried developing synergies.
However, recent reports from Strategy Analytics show Apple in a poor light. In the Indian markets, Apple has always been struggling with a single digit market share in India but the report reveals that the sales have plummeted down by another 35 percent to just 800,000 iPhones sold in 2016 as opposed to the 1.2 million sold in 2015. All the incentives, price cut and offers on the iPhones simply failed to lure the Indian customers, if we go by the report.
Apple had been fighting its way in order to bring refurbished iPhones to India, a move that was vehemently opposed by local manufacturers and environmental committees as well. Then came the iPhone SE, a 4-inch smartphone that aimed at changing Apple’s fortunes in India, alas even that failed to materialize. The company also fired up a corporate leasing program starting at Rs 999/month but again it was not something that would appease the masses. In the meanwhile smartphone shipment in general has increased by 19 percent and a whopping 97 percent of the devices are Android!
The only success Cupertino company had was in getting a nod from the authorities for the Apple exclusive retail stores. A quick glance at the graph tells us that iOS share in India has crumbled down from 4.5% to 2.4%. The reasons for the plummeting sales can be many but the one that needs addressing is the pricing. iPhone attracts duties and customs, post which the bloated price is something that a majority of Indians cannot afford. Also, the Android market in India is filled to the brim with competitors trying to cram in the best hardware at that price point. We also harbour a feeling that if Apple comes out with genuinely impressive exchange schemes and more flexible payment options, maybe they can crack the Indian market after all. We also need to remember that iPhone is still a premium offering in India and just like all the other premium products the increase in sales can be a bit of sluggish affair.
The whole report is in stark contrast to what Apple reported themselves in the earnings call.
In the first three-quarters of this fiscal year, our iPhone sales in India were up 51 percent year on year. We just announced a first of its kind design and development accelerator to support Indian developers creating innovative applications for iOS, and we opened a new office to accelerate maps development.