Apple India’s new country head, Michel Coulomb, is apparently making it even harder for Indians to get their hands on their dream Apple product, thanks to a change in sales strategy after taking over from the predecessor, Sanjay Kaul, and reverting to an ‘organized distribution’ structure for the sale of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. As per a report on Economic Times, those steep discounts on Apple products on your ‘Big Billion Days’ will soon be a thing of the past as the number of distributors is pared and the company takes a hard line on maintaining prices. This move seems to be made as the brand had been diluted by giving distributors a free hand to sell to any retailer, even at lower prices in order to meet sales targets.
The ‘open distribution’ strategy which existed earlier had apparently created a lot of discontent among offline retailers who were losing out on sales thanks to cheaper prices due to rampant discounts on e-commerce portals which also resulted in fluctuating prices almost on a daily basis. Due to this, Apple even started to be known as a ‘discounted brand’ according to a senior executive at Apple’s leading trade partner. The executives added that Coulomb, who took charge in December, will retain only two national distributors – Ingram Micro and Redington. Other distributors of Apple namely Brightstar, Rashi Peripherals, and HCL Infosystems will be phased out gradually. Coulomb is confident that just two distributors should be enough to assure product reach throughout the country while keeping the ‘premium’ status of the company intact.
As a part of this new strategy, Apple will now directly sell its products to large retailers and online partners, ensuring better price control than before. This will be taken care from the new distribution center that Apple has set up in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra.
Online sales of Apple devices accounted for about 55% until now, which might change given the new policy will aim to unify prices across all platforms. While there still will be some promotional discounts from time to time, don’t expect huge discounts on Apple products henceforth. The new rules will come into play early next year so if you want to gift yourself a shiny new iPhone X or a MacBook, you might as well do it by then.