Apple Has Encountered 'Little Success' Growing in India Due to High Prices of iPhones

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Ghost31 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2015
    Honestly, conceptually, it's not ridiculous that a phone should cost more than a laptop. Because these aren't "phones". These are "mini super computers in our pocket with the most cutting edge tech in consumer electronics". I feel like "phone" has the same connotation of a flip phone or something and you're picturing paying 1k for a flip phone. Big nope

    However, I think when you raise prices without huge justifications for it, there's a problem. Case in point: The new iPads that are $200 more for...some reason
  2. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Apple will probably have to just write off India when it comes to smartphones. I don’t think Apple can lower their iPhone pricing to a point where enough people are willing to buy them compared to android alternatives, while maintaining their margins and still preserving their profitability around the world.

    India is clearly no China when it comes to spending power and it is starting to become painfully obvious.
  3. MacCurry macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2006

    Sales of the iPhone in China are declining in 2018. Ignoring India would be to the detriment of Apple and Tim Cook knows so.

    There are a lot of incorrect figures going around in this thread. However, what is known is that there is a lot of corruption in India to the point where there are only 70 million people who actually file an income tax return, but it is increasing over 12-15% each year. Most business is still done in cash. In recent years the government of India has taken step to formalize the economy with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and many businesses are pissed off when they didn't have to pay any taxes before. Apple is being hit with at least 18% GST along with import duties for not having manufacturing within country.
  4. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    In 2018, Apple's sales revenue in China grew 16% year over year.

    Chinese consumers are buying $1,500 iPhone XS Max. Indian consumers are buying $150 Redmi and Honor phones. Indians simply don't have the buying power for any luxury goods.

  5. Ramchi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2007
    India won't lose anything! It is already negligible....
    --- Post Merged, Dec 19, 2018 ---
    Again misleading! Sales revenue grew to 16% (duedto higher prices) while sales volume declines ! This is the same story in all markets across the globe!! Nothing to do with a country is poorer or rich! Even Apple acknowledges this by stop reporting sales numbers!!
  6. Mars56 Suspended

    Apr 26, 2018
    Apple doesn't need to worry about India as a market. If they don't want to afford it, let it go and move on. The Indian market hasn't been relevant so far and doesn't need to be relevant in the future.
  7. aakshey macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2016
    In India’s defence, Apple India’s revenue increased by over 40% in India. The profit increased too. But the unit sales of iPhones declined.
  8. ROGmaster, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018

    ROGmaster macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2018
    Actualy you are missing the point and ignoring key facts I've stated.
    That is correct But India is a developing country and more and more people can afford a smartphone as time goes by. That's why the Indian smartphone market is still growing at an accelerated rate while other smartphone markets decline or stagnate. This is a fact that can't be ignored.
    I disagree. Taking in consideration the fact that Apple's smartphone sales in India has declined steeply in 2018, only people that want to spend 1500$ on a phone and have a central subjective motivation will buy an iphone. Why? Because iphones are objectively a very bad deal in India. It's very simple.
    And affording to pay a certain amount for a phone and actually being wiling to pay that amount are two different things.
    Also the +500$(without an upper limit) smartphone portion of the Indian smartphone market is dominated by Android phones anyway.
    No it's not. Iphone sales in India have been declining for a while and iphone x is not the one to blame because that's not the only phone apple sales there. The problem is even older phones like the 6s, 7 or 8 are a very bad deal in India. And these phones look ancient even next to the latest mid-range Android phones that sell between 180-350$ in India.
    Iphone's sale have been declining in India because Apple is uncompetitive from top to bottom.
    Samsung mid-range line of smartphones is also uncompetitive so their sales in India also declined massively while manufacturers like Huawei, Xioami, OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo have been steadily increasing their market share in India. These things are very obvious and easy to see.
    I would say that most of those that can and are willing to spend 1500$ on a phone are buying a Samsung flagships simply because they are a much much better deal than iphones in India. I know very well how consumers in developing markets think, the price is the most important objective motivator.
  9. MacCurry macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2006
    On the contrary. It will be a rude awaking for AAPL in a few years to ignore it. Tim Cook knows this.
  10. jlwarlow macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2008
    Leicestershire, UK
    I'm in the UK where it's common to pay a monthly fee for mobile phones and the phone cost is built into the contract. I see people spend £50 - £80 per month for 2 years for the latest phone as well as pay an up-front charge of a few hundred, it's mad! I have better things to spend money on (family breaks, nice meals out with family). I pay nothing up front and around £30pm. At the moment that got me an iPhone SE 64Gb, which has the 6S internalls. It's a fast phone with lots of features. Give it a few years and the XR will be in that range. I refuse to pay a premium for the latest iPhone when there isn't a huge difference between the latest and a few generations previous version.
  11. racerhomie macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2015
    The iPhone has already been the most profitable product in history.Plus ,it’s a matured business.Apple will do just fine.
  12. Anandc macrumors 6502


    May 17, 2011
    Bombay, India
    There are lot of things involved.

    1) India is a developing country and is 6th wealthiest country in the world yet it has 60% of poor people.

    2) India is also home to 20,730 multimillionaires, the seventh largest in the world. India has 119 billionaires, the third-highest after the US and China.

    3) According to the New World Wealth report, India was the best performing wealth market globally in 2017 as its total wealth rose 25% from $6,584 billion in 2016 to $8,230 billion in 2017.

    4) The richest 10% of Indians own 77.4% of the country’s wealth, says Credit Suisse in their 2018 Global Wealth Report. The bottom 60%, the majority of the population own 4.7%. The richest 1% own 51.5%.


    While I am not trying to defend my country saying it's wealthy but considering the population, India is a very good market for any company in the world. It's so good that top 5 companies having highest smartphone market share in India are 1 (Samsung) Korean and 4 (Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo & Huawei) Chinese companies.

    Even 5% out of 40% buy iPhone, it's a game on for Apple. But things aren't good for Apple in India. People just hate Apple in India.

    1) Dual Sim - Nobody likes the concept of eSim as only 2 service providers support eSim. Android smartphones are having dual sim from last 5-6 years now. It's not a big deal in India and people use it 2 SIM cards, one for work and one as a personal. It just works that way.

    2) iOS Split-Screen limitations - Android smartphones can do split-screen which helps many in business.

    3) Fast Charger - USD1500 doesn't even have a fast charger is a big deal breaker in India because even a USD150 smartphone has a fast charger and it does its job well.

    4) Battery Life - iPhone X & XS have a very ****** battery life compared to Android smartphones. iPhones X/XS have around 2700 mAh while most of the Android flagships today have easily more than 3500 - 4000 mAh battery. iPhone XS Max has 3179 mAh.


    5) Camera - Android smartphones are now on par with iPhone camera. An Android USD500 smartphone camera is now as good as iPhone camera. One example is OnePlus 6T.

    6) Apple Pay - While Apple Pay is not in India, Samsung Pay & Google Pay have been in India for a while now. Again Apple lacks with latest features that a smartphones have, at least in India.

    7) Maps - Even today there's no turn by turn navigation while Google Maps support all their features in India not only just navigation.

    8) Siri/News App - Siri doesn't support Restaurant Reservations & Movie Showtimes. There's no Apple News app in India.

    But these are very little things that Apple can't do in India. The biggest problem what Apple is facing is Chinese Android smartphones can do almost everything what an iPhone can do at USD500. That's more than half the cost of iPhone.

    Currently the most loved smartphone by Indians is OnePlus 6T.

    Now let's take a look at what OnePlus 6T can do -

    Basic parameters
    157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm

    6.5 ounces (185 g)


    Mirror Black / Midnight Black / Thunder Purple

    Operating System
    OxygenOS based on Android™ Pie

    Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 (Octa-core, 10nm, up to 2.8 GHz), within AIE

    Adreno 630

    Haptic vibration motor

    6 GB / 8 GB / 10 GB LPDDR4X

    128 GB / 256 GB UFS 2.1 2-LANE

    In-display Fingerprint Sensor, Hall, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, RGB Ambient Light Sensor, Electronic Compass, Sensor Core

    USB 2.0, Type-C, Support standard USB
    Type-C Earphone, Dual Nano SIM Slot

    3700 mAh (non-removable) Fast Charging (5V 4A)

    Gestures and on-screen navigation support Alert Slider

    Bottom-facing speaker
    Noise cancellation support
    Dirac HD Sound®
    Dirac Power Sound®

    Unlock Options
    In-display Fingerprint Sensor
    Face Unlock

    DL 5CA/256QAM, UL CA/64QAM, 4x4 MIMO
    Supports up to DL CAT16/ UL CAT13 (1Gbps/150 Mbps) depending on carrier support

    FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/ 19/20/25/26/28/29/66
    TDD LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41
    TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
    UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
    CDMA: BC0/BC1
    GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

    Check carrier compatibility

    2x2 MIMO, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G

    Bluetooth 5.0, support aptX and aptX HD

    NFC enabled

    GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo

    6.41 inches (The corners of the screen are within a standard rectangle. Measured diagonally, the screen size is 6.41 inches in the full rectangle and 6.24 inches accounting for the rounded corners)

    2340 x 1080 pixels 402 ppi

    Aspect Ratio

    Optic AMOLED (Support sRGB, DCI-P3)

    Cover Glass
    2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6

    Adaptive Mode
    Reading Mode
    Night Mode
    Lift Up Display

    Rear Camera - Main
    Sensor: Sony IMX 519
    Megapixels: 16
    Pixel Size: 1.22 µm
    OIS: Yes
    EIS: Yes
    Autofocus: PDAF
    Aperture: f/1.7

    Rear Camera - Secondary
    Sensor: Sony IMX 376K
    Megapixels: 20
    Pixel Size: 1.0 µm
    Autofocus: PDAF
    Aperture: f/1.7

    Dual LED Flash

    4K resolution video at 30/60 fps
    1080P resolution video at 30/60 fps
    720P resolution video at 30 fps

    Super Slow Motion
    1080p video at 240 fps
    720p video at 480 fps

    AI Scene Detection, Portrait Mode, Pro Mode, Night Mode, Panorama, Time-Lapse, HDR, HQ, Studio Lighting, RAW Image

    Front Camera
    Front Camera
    Sensor: Sony IMX 371
    Megapixels: 16
    Pixel Size: 1.0 µm
    EIS: Yes
    Autofocus: Fixed Focus
    Aperture: f/2.0

    1080P resolution video at 30 fps
    720P resolution video at 30 fps

    Portrait Mode, HDR, Screen Flash, Studio Lighting, Smile Capture, Face Retouching

    Audio Supported Formats
    Recording: WAV, AAC, AMR

    Video Supported Formats
    Playback: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265(HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM
    Recording: MP4

    Image Supported Formats
    Playback: JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF
    Output: JPEG, PNG

    In the box
    1x OnePlus 6T
    1x Screen Protector (pre-applied)
    1x Case
    1x OnePlus Fast Charge Type-C Cable
    1x OnePlus Fast Charge Power Adapter
    1x SIM Tray Ejector
    1x Welcome Letter
    1x Quick Start Guide / Poster
    1x Safety Information
    1x Type-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter

    Indians don't see the value of spending USD1500 compared to what USD500 can do. It can almost do everything. Just it doesn't have the true Face ID like iPhone and no OLED screen. That's it. Nobody cares.

    BUT the story doesn't end here. iPhone is loved by many too yet they don't want to buy because it's expensive. Majority of wealthy Indians don't buy iPhones from India. They either buy from US, Canada, Hong Kong, Dubai etc. Where the price is much less compared to India. If you meet any wealthy Indian, they will be carrying an iPhone but 90% of them buy from abroad.

    It's a different market. It's flooded with Chinese Android OEMs and they want to compete with iPhone at low cost. Something which is yet to happen in Europe & US but it's slowly coming up. OnePlus have now entered the US Market and I believe at the pace where Apple is heading, it does look like a big downfall for them in US too. The sales are already slowing everywhere in the world.


    I love Apple's secured iOS & build quality of iPhone and that's the reason I've paid the over priced iPhone XS Max which I bought from US. I live in Mumbai, India.


    I forgot to tell the best story.

    Apple India profit zooms 140% to Rs 896 crore in FY18

    Yes, Apple is making money in India just like they are making money everywhere else. They are simply losing the marketshare and sales just like every other country in the world.
  13. sane.voice macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2018
    I guess yours is Snapdragon 845 which is better. International S9 isn't as good with samsung's inhouse processor.
  14. Mars56 Suspended

    Apr 26, 2018
    Not really. That market has and will be relatively irrelevant on the global scale and there's no need for Apple to cater towards it by lowering the prices beyond a reasonable point.
  15. sane.voice macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2018
    There are a few simple reasons why Apple isn't big in India compared to US.
    Why US loves Apple?
    1. World class service. Walk into near by apple store for instant resolution.
    2. iMessage
    3. Ecosystem. Macs, iPhones, iPads, Watches everything work so well together.
    4. Pricing. Apple phones are very expensive, but 200$ more than Google/Samsung phones isn't so over the top.

    Why Apple fails in India?
    1. No apple stores. So no extra points for service excelente. And service is prohibitively expensive (labor is cheap in India, so repairs are cheap for other brands).
    2. No one uses iMessage, Whatsapp rules.
    3. Ecosystem doesn't matter. Macs are minuscule. Less so watches & iPads.
    4. Oneplus is $500 (most popular phone). S9 for around $650 during sale. Apple Xr costs $1000 (let's not even compare Xs). And most of the sales are for phones less than $300.
    5. There are many internationally mobile iPhone loving users who buy from US/Singapore/Dubai where it is much cheaper.
  16. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Samsung should be afraid of Oneplus. As far as market share, IMO, it matters to a point since apple revenue operates on hardware sales and services whereby other vendors revenues are based on thin margins.
  17. Macbookprodude macrumors regular


    Jan 1, 2018
    Same here in Ukraine.. most of us are starving and on streets thanks to the war and our president. I am leader of my own party, "Liberation" and I am running for president of Ukraine.
  18. Anandc macrumors 6502


    May 17, 2011
    Bombay, India
    Exactly. Forget if a country is poor or rich. It just doesn't make sense to buy a USD1500 smartphone when there are USD500 smartphones which can do 95% of the job done.

    If you ask me, it's a ****** deal. I have never bought an iPhone from India and I am using iPhone from last 4 years now. I recently purchased MacBook Pro from Japan. iPhone XS Max from USA. Apple Watch I had bought from USA and this time buying Series 4 from Europe. AirPods I bought from Berlin, Germany. I don't buy Apple products from India because they are **** expensive. There's lot of duty imposed on Apple products from the government.

    Now lot of people complaint about imposing duties by the Indian govt. But you have to remember, India is a growing economy country. If they don't give jobs to Indians, there will be no increase in income of lower middle class and poor people. When there is a demand of a particular product, govt has to intervene and make the best out of it for the people. But also not screw up the market. It is only asking to make 30% of local manufacturing and not 100% which is clearly achievable and it has been done with all the foreign companies that are there in India.

    Trump is trying to do the same but just because it works for India doesn't mean it should work for US. US has a very different class system. Labour is not cheap in US and it will never be unless they poor people like in India. Trump wants to give Americans job but the kind of job he wants to give cannot be given as Americans don't fall in poor category of class system. Also, Americans are not qualified for American jobs. The kind of qualification which requires are coming all from Indians, Chinese and rest of Asia as H1B visa.

    Read this article - There are 7 million unemployed and 6.2 million job openings. What’s the problem?

    So it's not about the Govt or the Indians. Apple needs to get its act together or else sooner or later they will even lose US market which is its best and loyal market in the world. The low cast Android smartphones are coming to US and the story is going to be the same. Remember how Blackberry was so famous over iPhone at one point in US? well that story is not far enough where Android smartphones will take over iPhone again!
  19. Anandc macrumors 6502


    May 17, 2011
    Bombay, India
  20. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Blackberry’s downfall wasn’t price. Apple is a highly branded product and people have Ben predicting the downfall after Cook took over, even as the company was heading toward $1T.
  21. wdfly macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2015
    of course they aren't having success because of the high prices, this is the same reason i'm holding on to my iphone for one more year, 1400 bucks is just way to damn high for a $700 phone.
  22. himanshumodi macrumors regular


    May 18, 2012
    India does have regulations that make it a whole lot harder to set up Foreign owned retail shops. That said, it's not absence of Apple owned retail stores that is the reason why Apple is lagging so badly, because there are enough Apple "authorised" shops around. It is the pricing that gets nonsensical, because the government does put a hefty import fee for stuff that is imported from outside. Exchange rate for USD to INR is about 70. For top end iPhones it becomes almost 98 or 100. (that is, iphone Xs at 999 USD would cost 985000 INR instead of 70000 INR at normal exchange rate). Now, at 70000 INR, the phone is still very expensive, but it puts them in the same ball park (although still higher) as galaxy note 9.

    Now coming to the question of affordability. The top 20%, income-wise, in India have about 160,000 INR as their annual disposable income... basically money which could go towards an iphone. But they aren't about to spend more than half of their annual disposable income on a phone. Even if you have to consider the top 5%, at 100,000 INR, iphone is still too expensive. For myself, I am comfortably in the top 5%, but I make do with iPhone 6s. Maybe I will buy the iPhone Xs, in year 2020. OnePlus has really found a pricing sweetspot at about 550 USD. I will probably buy iPhones in this range. Perhaps Apple should keep marketing older versions of iPhones in this price range.

    Or perhaps, Apple should really re-baseline their phone prices.
  23. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    To you the value of the phone may be $700, but I bought the max. Thought it was worth every darn cent.
  24. aakshey macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2016
    You don’t realise you’re making the same point.

    That at current prices Apple isn’t meant for Indians.

    Whether Apple wants to accommodate Indians at lower price points is their prerogative. Nobody’s opinion matters here. And there is no reason for them to treat Indians as unique from the rest of the world. If they want to, they can and they will. They haven’t cared enough so far. Chances are they don’t care enough.

    They are free to sell at xyz prices. If Indians can afford it, they will buy. Else Apple isn’t really obligated to offer a lower price point. If they do, fantastic. But it’s not like it’s their duty.
  25. Anandc macrumors 6502


    May 17, 2011
    Bombay, India
    Nobody is asking them to lower the price.

    Every market is different and you can't treat US market like Indian market and vice versa. In India at USD500 you get 99% of the features what iPhone has and doing it's best job so Indians can't be bothered to pay extra which is USD1000 more unless someone is hooked on to iOS.

    It's not about the price or Indians can't afford it. Every market is different and Indian market is different too. iPhones in India had a good sale in the past with the growing numbers and it was Apple who wants to capture the market not me. So if you think there is an option of buy if you can afford or just leave it attitude doesn't work in business. As I said, every market is different.

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