Despite the craze world over, Apple hasn’t really been able to strike a chord within India, despite multiple efforts. Be it the sheer pricing, or the overly competitive Indian market flooded with cheaper Chinese flagships, iPhones have never really been the mainstream phones in India. And now, there are fresh numbers to back that.
According to fresh data coming in from Counterpoint research, iPhone sales have hit the rock bottom in India, with its shipments decreasing by a sharp 42% in the January-March quarter from a year before. iPhone sales have seen a significant dip in May and April even though there was a slight increase in April due to the big discounts offered by the retailers.
As per the reports by the Economic Times, an analyst quoted saying “Apple had a disappointing run in 2018 and the outlook for 2019 looks weaker, with shipments having fallen further compared to last year, with the exception of April, thanks to price correction that month.”
iPhone shipments to India reportedly saw a sharp decrease with only 220,000 units in the January-March quarter.
Reasons could be quite a few. India’s overall consumer market isn’t that great for business right now, considering a largely weak economic growth and the hefty elections season clouding the first quarter. Then, Samsung has really upped its game with the launch of its mid-segment A series smartphones in the country. In fact, Samsung’s flaship device, the S10, is already a fairly cheaper bet as compared to the latest iPhones. And then there are the Xiaomis, the Oppos, the Vivos etc. with their extensive marketing campaigns. And to top it all, there is OnePlus – a fan favourite (despite a not so welcoming debut for its 7 series) in India.
In comparison, the iPhone XS debuted at Rs 99,900 while the iPhone XS Max was launched at a price of Rs 109,900. The clearance of iPhone XR, which was launched last year at a price of Rs 76,900, helped fuel the sales for the company.
So yeah, things aren’t really that simple in the Indian smartphone market. Apple however, isn’t a pushover. It is among the world’s wealthiest companies after all, and India is its only unconquered territory.
The Cupertino giant has already fast-tracked plans to manufacture its pricey phones locally in India, via its Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn. The company will start with about 250,000 devices as an initial monthly capacity. 70-80% of the total produced may be exported in an attempt to diversify it’s production base beside China. Local manufacturing of these high end products will reduce the price while keeping the margin same.