Indian iPhone Users Discuss Apple's Poor Services Performance: 'Apple Maps is a Joke'

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Apple's ongoing struggles in India have been highlighted this week in a report by CNBC, which interviewed locals to ask about their experiences with the cost of Apple devices and the company's services. Indian users were favorable of Apple Music over rival services -- thanks to an improved catalog and affordable subscription price -- but Apple Maps and Siri received much lower marks.

Echoing some complaints about the two services heard in other countries, including from United States users, Indian customers said that Apple Maps has sparse data for a number of cities and towns, misses landmarks, and lacks basic turn-by-turn directions. One user in Bangalore, Mihir Sharma, summed it up by stating, "Apple Maps is a joke in India."


Other mapping complaints in India included the lack of similar navigation features within CarPlay. CNBC's report on the topic comes nearly two years after Apple announced the opening of a new Hyderabad-based development center focused on improving Apple Maps in India.

Otherwise, many of the issues users had with Apple in the country focused on Siri, which is said to not understand "many words of Indian origination" and "often struggles" to make sense and correctly respond to Indian accents. Apple added Hindi dictation in iOS 11 last fall, including support for 11 local languages, but those locals asked said it still "isn't good enough." Rival AI assistants from Google and Amazon are both reported as performing better in India.

The poor performance of Apple's services in India carries into the low sale volumes of its hardware, and analyst Faisal Kawoosa explained that the "Apple ecosystem isn't aligned much to the usage and value of Indian users." Data gathered by research firm Counterpoint said that Apple represented a total of 2.5 percent of India's smartphone market as of the quarter that ended in December 2017.
"There is no denial that Apple ecosystem isn't aligned much to the usage and value of Indian users. So, the services offered don't have flavors that would entice the Indian users," Faisal Kawoosa, an analyst with research firm CMR India said. "At the same time, the typical segment buying Apple products isn't that typical Indian user. But, no brand can afford to underserve a segment -- big or small," he added.
In addition to the issues with Apple services, iPhones are more expensive in India due to the country's charge on imported electronics, further lowering sales volume in the country. Apple has begun to manufacture the iPhone SE locally in India to sell it cheaper, as well as allow retailers to reduce the price of older iPhones, but all other models remain expensive. The cheapest iPhone 8 costs Rs 66,120 ($1,040) and the cheapest iPhone X costs Rs 92,430 ($1,450).

Even as Apple attempted to gain market share with older and cheaper iPhone models, the company increased the prices of most of its newer iPhones sold in India following the Indian government's decision to raise taxes on imported smartphones. In the wake of this, Apple appointed Michel Coulomb as lead of sales operations in India, with the aim to help Apple in its attempts to gain a bigger share of the country's smartphone market and boost local manufacturing.

During Apple's Q4 2017 earnings call, CEO Tim Cook likened the company's current struggle in India to "the many years" it put into fostering growth in China. Cook said it'll take time to see India meet up with China in this regard, and will come with building stores, building the developer ecosystem, and more. He finished by stating, "I feel like we're making good progress there and are gaining understanding of the market. But we still have a long way to go, which I sort of see as an opportunity, instead of a problem."

Article Link: Indian iPhone Users Discuss Apple's Poor Services Performance: 'Apple Maps is a Joke'
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,835
4,498
"Between the Hedges"
lol, of course it's a joke, but many americans like to think otherwise because their bubble seems covered on it.
I'll be honest... if it works for me, then why would I really care if it doesn't find a certain street in India?
I'm never gonna be there ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I understand it is an issue for them, but I have a hard time being concerned about their plight over maps
Too many other things to occupy my concern in my world
Doesn't have to work in India or anywhere else for it to be of value to me
 

bellang

macrumors member
Jun 22, 2005
90
133
I'll be honest... if it works for me, then why would I really care if it doesn't find a certain street in India?
I'm never gonna be there ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I understand it is an issue for them, but I have a hard time being concerned about their plight over maps
Too many other things to occupy my concern in my world
Doesn't have to work in India or anywhere else for it to be of value to me
So why post and why would you expect people to care about your opinon if you don't care about others...
 

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,768
2,269
NYC
I truly don’t understand how a company with absolutely massive resources at their disposal can’t manage to compete effectively with Google and Amazon (!) in these areas. It’s not just India; they’re neglecting these services all over the world. Siri is a laughingstock and Maps a punchline. That they can’t get it together is shameful.
 

nvmls

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2011
746
1,861
I'll be honest... if it works for me, then why would I really care if it doesn't find a certain street in India?
I'm never gonna be there ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I understand it is an issue for them, but I have a hard time being concerned about their plight over maps
Too many other things to occupy my concern in my world
Doesn't have to work in India or anywhere else for it to be of value to me
Whatever works for you my friend, I'd get out more, the world is amazing, but that's just me.
 

jarman92

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2014
544
1,066
I’m confused...if Apple Maps is so bad in India anyone can just use Google Maps. Siri may not work well in India (I assume Hindi?) but Assistant and Alexa don’t work at all. How do either of these things explain low sales in a India?
 

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,244
6,951
New Hampshire, USA
Nothing new on Apple maps. if you live outside the US, it's generally poor.
[doublepost=1517325458][/doublepost]
I’m confused...if Apple Maps is so bad in India anyone can just use Google Maps. Siri may not work well in India (I assume Hindi?) but Assistant and Alexa don’t work at all. How do either of these things explain low sales in a India?
In one word, price.
 
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MarkB786

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2016
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Rocky Mountains, USA
I'll be honest... if it works for me, then why would I really care if it doesn't find a certain street in India?
I'm never gonna be there ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I understand it is an issue for them, but I have a hard time being concerned about their plight over maps
Too many other things to occupy my concern in my world
Doesn't have to work in India or anywhere else for it to be of value to me
Typical American world view. Its all about me. But it's also about Apple crumbling at the foundation and their lack of product stewarship, which will indeed impact your perfect Apple-centric life some day. Instead of innovating, they now have to put tons of resources to their Inida and China debacles.It's all sympomatic of a huge Apple problem which will fully come to the surface over the next several years unless they make radical management changes now,
 
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Ronlap

macrumors regular
Sep 7, 2007
224
159
San Francisco Bay Area
Apple Maps are a joke in Burlingame, CA (freeway on ramps and off ramps changed over a year ago) and in the Napa Valley (roads closed or changed to one way due to the fires). Google Maps on iOS manages to keep up.
 

d5aqoëp

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2016
1,067
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1. Prices of iPhones are jacked up by around 40% on latest models in India.
2. Apple Maps is a joke and uses ancient TomTom data and proudly displays so in the app.
3. No Apple News App yet for India
4. Facetime calls are unreliable with huge latency. Maybe due to absence of local server.
5. Apple does not yet support Siri on Apple TV 4K which is sold in India.

They fired some Indian dude who was at the top management and hired an outsider who has zero clue about Indians and their spending habits. But they (Apple) are completely oblivious to the high price insanity their iPhones are.

I just have to laugh and shake my head.