Indian iPhone sales plunged 50% in 2018, proving China's not the only problem

Indian iPhone sales plunged 50% in 2018, proving China's not the only problem
Is it time for an iPhone SE2?

Despite openly blaming the Chinese market for its troubles, Apple has stayed pretty quiet on its performance in India. But a new report by The Economics Times today reveals that the Cupertino giant recently saw its sales drop by up to 50%.

Citing data from market research firm Counterpoint Research, Apple shipped anywhere between 1.6 and 1.7 million units throughout 2018, a significant decline from the 3.2 million devices it shipped in 2017. This drop was attributed to a combination of Apple’s high pricing and tough competition from rivals – OnePlus produces flagship smartphones at a fraction of the cost.

Between 2014 and 2017, the size of Apple’s Indian business had effectively doubled in size from just 1.5 million units annually to 3.2 million units. This growth pattern was more or less on par with the market growth in the region – smartphone shipments have grown from 80 million annually to 150 million units. But rather unfortunately for Apple, its sale performance last year has now effectively set it back three years.

The growing market and Apple’s declining sales have also seen the Cupertino giant’s market share drop significantly. In fact, after capturing 2.3% and 2.4% in 2016 and 2017 respectively, iPhone sales now account for just 1.2% of all devices sold.

At the moment, it’s unclear how Apple will choose to tackle its declining sales in India. But perhaps some sort of budget offering that sits below the iPhone XR could entice consumers, possibly some sort of iPhone SE2 which may also prove a hit amongst some of the brand’s most loyal consumers.

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22 Comments

1. emvxl

Posts: 140; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

Yeah, I think Apple priced themselves out of a lot of people.

2. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

True plus they lack features that many cheaper phones do have. Why buy a 1000 dollar plus phone while a phone half of the price is equal or better in performance.

10. mrochester

Posts: 978; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Which phone half the price has iOS?

18. lyndon420

Posts: 6736; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Surely you can find an older iPhone (not used), with more features (like a headphone jack) and a new battery for around $500??

19. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Look at the end of the day the Indian smartphone market grew by 15 million smartphones in 2018. That's still a significant growth overall. But this makes sense, especially since India has a number of home grown smartphone OEMs.

22. Cat97

Posts: 1861; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

iOS is not a feature, is a bug.

15. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

I would never ever thought of other phones other than iphone. It’s the only phone with iOS. I found android a total garbage.

16. rouyal

Posts: 1573; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

There is no $500 dollar phone ‘equal or better’ in performance than any 2018 iphone. Heck, there isnt even a $1000 android phone with better performance than the $750 XR.

20. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

BS, if any of the iPhones had great performance, then Apple would allow real multitasking, and split screen multitasking. But no Apple doesn't offer that, because their iPhones and their AX chips would overheat and throttle down. You can't even run two task at once. Yeah, great speed and processing. My @$$.

3. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1175; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Agreed, and their timing of the pricing was bad, as mentioned you can get a OnePlus for far less with specs that are just as good if not better, had they done this some time ago they may have got away with it, but not now, there are just too many great devices out there far less money.

11. mrochester

Posts: 978; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Seriously, when will you people realise that people don’t buy phones on specs? They buy phones for the ecosystem. There’s no point in talking about android phones as an alternative to iPhones because android phones don’t have iOS. That is the MOST important part of the iPhone and the one thing you cannot compromise on. It must must must be iOS.

13. seantn4

Posts: 48; Member since: Dec 11, 2018

Here, I've got you, Why buy a $1,000 iPhone? If IOS is the most important thing, I'll buy a brand new iPhone 7 for $400.

4. Be_Mine

Posts: 242; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

Unless you are one of the Ambani, Tata, Mittal, etc,. family members. The Price of the iPhone especially the newest models are just not justifiable.

5. osterrich21

Posts: 186; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

Apple no longer enchants as much as it used to. Who knows how to change the logo to a banana?

6. Eclipse

Posts: 9; Member since: Jan 11, 2019

"At the moment, it’s unclear how Apple will choose to tackle its declining sales in India. But perhaps some sort of budget offering that sits below the iPhone XR could entice consumers, possibly some sort of iPhone SE2" I think it is clear how Apple choose to tackle its declining sales,not by launch iPhone SE2 but by get out from there asap,lol

7. joshuaswingle

Posts: 569; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

Apple will not be leaving the Indian market anytime soon, it would be a stupid move.

9. OneLove123

Posts: 969; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

The average Indians make like $600 or less per month. Apple better lower their prices or they will have to leave India and China too.

12. joshuaswingle

Posts: 569; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

Of course, there's no denying that they need to lower prices. But it would be stupid of them to leave the market completely considering the growth opportunity. Also, I believe China accounts for roughly 20% of Apple's earnings, so there's absolutely no chance of them leaving that market.

8. syntaxlord

Posts: 239; Member since: Oct 01, 2018

Here's what I want the SE2 to look like: A12 Bionic At least 4.5" LCD with True Tone 12 MP f/2.0 with OIS rear, 5 MP front Aluminum 7000 Second gen Touch ID (possibly on the rear or side) 3 GB of RAM Storage starting at 64 GB Pricing starting at $449

14. monkeyb

Posts: 409; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

Apple’s biggest problem is that they always give you what they think is best for the consumers. It never felt that they ever really listened to consumers. Some of Apple’s moves that pissed Indian consumers into the Android ecosystem: - Every other OEM reduced their prices for flagships except Apple in India. - No NFC or Bluetooth file sharing. This is very important to Indians. - Apple was giving 16GB for a really long time which pushed many people into cheaper Android phones which were giving 32 or 64 gb space with expandable storage. India has customers loyal to Apple but even they are getting annoyed with the lack of innovation and high prices.

17. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

India produces its own smartphones. Apple and some other well known OEMs now have a tougher time competing with the many home grown Indian smartphone market. Yet India's smartphone market still grew in 2018 to almost 150 million in 2018, up from 135 million in 2017. That's a growth of 15 million smartphones from 2017.

21. cncrim

Posts: 1586; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

They will never admit they price it wrong.

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