Apple to Focus on Selling Entry-Level iPhones and iPads in Small Stores Across India

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple will reportedly look to build a presence in India by opening small stores with resell partners and emphasize sales of entry-level iPhones and iPads, according to a new report from The Economic Times. The plan follows comments from Apple India executives Maneesh Dhir and Sanjay Kaul last October stating a desire for the company to build 100 exclusive standalone stores under the franchise model throughout the country.

    An Apple Premium Reseller in India ​
    The report adds that the company is looking to build these new stores in populated areas such Pune, Vizag, Guwahati, Durgapur, and Gangtok, stating that Apple is looking to attract the large number of students as well as residents with "high disposable incomes" in those regions. Currently, India does not have any Apple Retail Stores to call its own, although a report in January 2012 stated that Apple was interested in setting up locations in the country after business regulations were relaxed.

    Q2 2013 figures from Canalys reported last August showed that India is the third largest smartphone market in the world, posting 129% growth and resulting in the shipment of 9 million smartphones during the quarter. Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned during the company's Q3 2013 earnings call that iPhone sales in India increased by 400% year-over-year, as the iPad posted double-digit growth in the region. It was also reported last month that Apple would be restarting iPhone 4 production for India, Indonesia, and Brazil in order to recapture market share in those countries.

    Article Link: Apple to Focus on Selling Entry-Level iPhones and iPads in Small Stores Across India
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2009
    Too bad all the corruption by government officials is preventing them from opening actual Apple stores in India.
  3. macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2013
    Barcelona, Spain
    Sorry to hear that. Hope it's over soon. I have many Indian friends who are all awesome and I love India.
  4. macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2011
    Never mind that that report was fundamentally wrong, in that Apple never actually stopped iPhone 4 production. The only thing they stopped was selling it in other countries.
  5. Avieshek, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014

    macrumors member


    Dec 7, 2013
    Yeah.. Guwahati! But speaking of iPhones the old is absolutely not the focus here. But the 16GB of anything.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2011
    Apple: if you want a slice of the Indian market, learn from BlackBerry's mistakes there. Don't try to sell phones in the $650-750 range (remember the Q10?). Starting small with cheaper entry level devices is the way to go. Get them a taste of the Apple ecosystem. Slowly but surely you'll drag them and their family members and friends into the Apple force field from which they can't then escape. There's your win.

    I started with an iPod Nano, followed by the iPhone, MacBook, Apple TV, Airport Extreme and now an iPad Air. So there is precedence of people starting small but then not leaving the ecosystem once they see how great all of these devices work together :)
  7. macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

    Dec 6, 2012
    My heart is in Camagüey, the rest in the USA
    The pictured store looks nice - not a typical apple look, but nice none the less. I imagine that apple will develop a signature look for these "smaller stores".
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2013
    Apple wont be making 200$ phones specifically for the Indian market. At best what the cheapest phones India will get would be a 350$ iphone 4 (8gb)..This would ultimately be a counterproductive strategy in my opinion as it really gives a mediocre phone for that price (looking at the competition @ that price range)..Apple's goal here is not to touch 32% market share that samsung touts with its vast lineup of cheap cell phones (as low as 125$ i am told) but try to be the top device(s) in the top tier category where currently the Galaxy family dominates.


    Having visited apple re-sellers in two major indian cities (mumbai and Gurgaon) I can say that the at much inferior to any customer experience apple may have in mind. On both occasions i encountered staff that was not only rude but lacked basic knowledge of apple products and services. Not only that on one occasion one of the staff members tried to convince me to go to a different store to pick up cheaper generic covers for my wife's ipad mini.

    I think apple just has to wait for a couple of years for the political landscape to change in India and then they could come in with their flagship stores. None in India have had the sort of retail experience that apple can potentially provide when shopping for consumer electronics.
  9. slu
    macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    Hilarious! "Entry Level" iPhones and iPads don't exist. I think they mean "old".
  10. macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2008
    As someone working in the field of iOS app development, I can say with certainty that a lot of developers will be upset if Apple launches new screen resolutions with next iPhone launch while still keeping the iPhone 4/4S sizes in production.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2013
    I think they'll kill the 3.5 inch form factor in Q4 of 2014..
  12. macrumors 68020

    Mar 23, 2006
    I know there is a lot of poverty in India but there is also a rapidly expanding middle class with money to spend. I read somewhere it's around 300m out of a total population of 1.3bn. Still a sizable market. Seems a shame to only sell the cheaper products.


    Shouldn't you be preparing for tonight's match Mr Lionel Messi from Barcelona lol.
  13. DFZD, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014

    macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2012
    The corruption bit true, but that's not preventing apple in anyway. Apple doesn't care enough about India.

    Try dealing with their support in India. Their International Policy and general politeness as widely known is non-existant in India. You'll be really luck to get a product replacement under warranty here.

    This article shows how they really see Indians at the moment, they don't get it like the Germans do (and the reason the 4 German automobile companies are doing so well year over year). We Indians are not cheap, we are frugal, we like to buy products that are value for money, and worth the price tag, and the average Indian smartphone consumer doesn't appreciate how Apple products are overpriced and offer so little value, compared to lets say android smartphones from other companies. And the Apps argument is invalid here, as India specific apps are much larger in numbers on android as compared to iOS.

    We have the Standard apple like stores here atleast in New Delhi. Glass front, all white interiors, soft lighting, product highlighting. But we don't have Geniuses here, atleast I have not met one on 4-5 stores I've visited.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2013
    Yes it is. Apple is unable to launch its dedicated retail business in India due to the laws with regards to foreign investment in retail.

    Apple is pretty consistent with its price and products across all markets be it developing or developed. You get the same iphone5, iphone 4s or ipad in India as you do in the US or China. Apple isn't looking for a huge market share in India which would be impossible for a brand that essentially only competes at the top of the market..They are looking to increase its market share within the premium smartphone market, where it is quite a bit behind samsung which has had a presence in the indian market for years.

    Which is something they'd have to address moving forward. There are many markets throughout the world where apple is NEW in..India is one of them..Before the iPhone in 07 the Indian market had virtually ZERO expereince with apple as a brand..The MAC did not take off in india, and ipod sales werent too big either (from what i recall)..Apple has to build and do a lot of work in markets such as India.

    They are the same products which offer the same capability as they do worldwide. Indians do appreciate fine quality in most things, and apple has built up on its sales over the years (5s was the best sales phone in India by a long margin)...Ask the luxury automobile OEM's about indian market, plenty of indians will buy apple products at those prices if apple has a presence (both at the sales level and at the service level)..You wont ever see a 30% market share like samsung, but who cares? Do you think Mercedes india cares about how many cars Hyundai sells? All apple is concerned about is the top layer of the pie (premium smartphones and tablets) and that has the galaxy family at the top in India on the back of a much longer prsense and a retail/service network that is extensive. .
  15. macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2012
    iPhone 5s was USD 700, thats about INR 42000, they priced 5s at 52 here. Thats about 175 dollars more. So its safe to say they are selling the 5s 16gb at the price of 5s 64 gb.
    If you check any of the other apple products, you'll find that none of them is priced at a 25% surcharge over direct dollar conversion, like the 5s is.
    Even if we forgive them for it, considering it's their flagship model, they did the same thing with 5c, they had a chance to change it all in their favour with 5c, they should've priced it close to INR 30000. It would've buried the Android high end market right there. And yes, they should've made a black 5c atleast for India.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2013
    Prices have a lot to do with supply and the fact that local tariffs and costs do change dynamics quite a bit. I have not seen a report that reflects on apple's profit margin on the iPhone for the US market compared to the Indian market. Every country has different tariffs for importing different products, be it cellphones, computers or automobiles. Apple's sales of the iPhone in the Indian market is not dependent on the cost at all but on the supply. iPhone 5s could easily have sold 2x or even 3x (from what I am told by friends in India) had there been enough of them at the Indian launch.

    Regarding the C Killing the android bit, apple's intention is and has been to sell maximum amount of devices while keeping the quality high. I agree the C could have been priced better but the bulk of the indian android market (from what I have seen and have been told) is using products that are priced between $150-250 un-subsidized. Those are your Micromax's (chinese brand i assume), Huwai and lower end samsung,LG,Nokia devices. No way will apple come up with a product that competes at that price point. Apple's benchmark in the Indian market should (and probably is) be to challenge and eventually overtake the galaxy family from samsung which dominates the premium market ($400+) in both tablets and phones. Apple's strategy is not linked to marketshare as android's is so that competition holds little relevance to the company and its plans.
  17. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    Device engineer 30+ yrs, touchscreens 24+.
    Yep. The tariff for an iPhone coming into India is about US $170, last time I checked.

    That additional amount hurts, especially considering that native Indian companies are selling 5" Android based phones for not much more than just that.

    Micromax is an Indian smartphone maker. So are Karbonn and Lava.

    It's not just Apple. All outside companies have to deal with import tariffs and native competition.

    What Apple is doing in India is smart: they're offering trade-ins and I think also loans. Actually, that's about all they can do, since they refuse to lower their profit margin and/or sell a budget phone.

    Unless they sell a less expensive phone with nice specs, their share in India will be very low for a long time. I believe Apple's at what, around 4% of Indian smartphone sales? Not sure.

  18. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2013
    I think apple will look at the Indian market in a narrow way focusing just on the higher end categories. Apple is unable to enter the market like it has done in China or Brazil. All it can do is use authorized vendors which are subpar imo and do nothing to add to the brand name of apple in India. As Tim Cook mentioned markets like India have had no experience (nothing significant anyway) with the mac or with other iconic apple devices such as the iPod. Samsung on the other hand has been in the market for years, has a damn impressive support base, authorized dealers, authorized service centers even in T2 and T3 cities.
  19. macrumors 603


    The advantage of "old" devices is all the production lines are fully amortized and trained and the component costs have dropped to commodity level. One wonders if they can offer a version of iOS6 so they run snappier or make substantial progress beyond what they already did on iOS 7.1 to get them to run "well" on older hardware. I also wonder if they might actually be better off to employ a newer lower power faster processor in an otherwise "old" device. I doubt the cost differential is much.

  20. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2013
    I don't see much advantage in that. I think apple is not ready to make a serious commitment to Mid level devices, and apple really does not need to make that call until all the iPhone target market is fully covered. With 50 carriers only now supporting iPhone (through subsidy) in Q42013 and newer markets that can absorb a lot more apple in the future..I dont see much problem for apple to grow its iPhone sales from 150 all the way to well past 200 million per annum just based on 2 new devices (both targeted at the higher end) per year and 1 refresh C type device..
  21. macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    stupid about focusing on selling MP.
  22. macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2014
    Dilute the brand

    Hope they don't end up diluting their brand
  23. macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2013
    Barcelona, Spain
    I was preparing. Was just taking a short break. Now taking a break before the big match in 1 hour 21 minutes. We will conquer the Santiago!

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