Apple isn't giving up on India just yet; brand has big plans for retail locations

Apple isn't giving up on India just yet; brand has big plans for retail locations
While Apple may be the world’s most valuable company and the third largest smartphone manufacturer, the brand hasn’t exactly been performing well in India recently. In fact, during the first six months of the year, Apple sold fewer than 1 million iPhone units in the market. Despite this, though, the brand still has big plans for the country in the hope of turning around its business.

Overall, the focus of Apple’s turnaround efforts will be new flagship stores. Reportedly, Apple has three major ones of its own already in the works that will be located in New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. However, the Silicon Valley-based company is now said to be switching its focus over to “flagship” reseller stores due to the long process of obtaining government approval for its own alternatives – the Indian government has regulations in place which stipulate that 30% of products sold must be manufactured within the country. According to the information, the iPhone giant has plans to establish around 5 or 6 reseller stores in “extremely prominent locations” found within the three cities mentioned above and Chennai, Hyderabad, and Pune, which are Apple’s biggest markets within India.

Rather than lowering the price of its smartphones in the market, the American company is said to be betting on the “experience” its products and stores can provide. Because of this, the company will be working closely with the resellers in order to maintain the overall look and feel level it requires. Additionally, Apple is also said to be open to the idea of having reseller stores that are up to 5000 square feet in size, significantly bigger than current ones that tend to sit at around 1500 square feet.

Aside from plans for physical locations, Apple is also expected to enter into new agreements with online retailers that will boost the brand’s presence throughout the market. At this point in time, though, it’s unclear what kind of timeline the company has in mind to complete its new plans.

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19 Comments

1. anandhts4u

Posts: 8; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Any good presence to improve the resellers in the market is welcome. Also, does online store come together with having retailer shops?

2. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Apple isn't failing in India due to brand perception. The brand perception of Apple is, and has always been extremely positive in India like the rest of the world. I don't think opening up more flashy stores will help the situation they are in. The situation is that the Indian government has raised the import duty to a staggering 20% from 10% last year. Not to mention that the Apple tax Apple claims due to the 'premium' resellers charging for their stores is another 10% or so, with the end result keeping the phone nearly 50% more expensive compared to US price. Competitors on the other hand are getting their phone prices down considerably, with both Samsung and OnePlus pricing their phones lower than US. Combine that with the fact that India has really low income, there is no way Apple can gain market share in India, unless it: 1. Drastically reduces price in India 2. Shifts manufacturing in India, which will save it the import duties. 3. Actually improve the software experience in India. Currently, Apple pay and maps doesn't work in India, and siri doesn't work well with Indian accent. What is currently happening is that Indians are paying nearly 50% premium over US buyers and getting a substandard software as well as service. If Apple thinks making flashy stores is going to solve that, it's more delusional than I think it is, or just Apple India is run by some monkeys flinging turd at the wall, seeing what sticks (which might be true since most of Apple India's top management in sales just quit less than a month ago). There are no bad products, just bad pricing!

3. Be_Mine unregistered

Hear.. Hear..! And the choice is limited even if you have the money to buy them. Ex: The new MacBook Pro 15 2018 is available only with the Intel i7 (256 GB & 512GB). No Intel i9 or Larger SSD storage. Likewise, the iMac Pro is available only in one variant i.e., Base Model 8 Core Processor with 1 TB SSD and 32GB RAM. 8GB Radeon Pro Vega 56 Graphic.

6. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

It gets worse, with the macbook pro 13 not even having 16GB RAM as an option in India. Finally with the 2018 models the 13" is viable(quad core processor, finally!) but that is made useless with 8GB max RAM. However, with laptops, I kinda forgive Apple. India is not a huge laptop market to begin with, and since there is no volume, they can't bring multiple configurations in since that will result in losses due to lack of predictability of stock. I talked with a Dell sales rep a couple years ago regarding why isn't the Dell XPS 15 available in India(I wanted the 9550 badly). He told me that they would barely sell 1000 units in India, and the hassle is not worth it. Eventually the people started buying the XPS 13 model and they brought the 15 starting from the 9560 though, so that's great. Regarding Apple products, it's actually cheaper to buy a plane ticket to Dubai, buy the products, enjoy the vacation and fly back to India lol, even if you're just buying the iPhone X. If you buy the macbooks as well, it's an incredibly profitable vacation. Indian govt. isn't less to blame either. The 20% cess + 18% GST kinda throws a wrench on their own 'digital India' initiative. I sometimes think that being upper middle class or upper class is a crime in India, unless you're a thug or a tax chor.

8. toukale

Posts: 669; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

@Boast_Rider - Agreed with everything you said with one exception. Its 2011/2013 all over again. For those who were not following this way back then, the same arguments were made regarding China and Apple

14. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

You are right. However, India is not China, i.e. China's GDP per capita is more than 4 times India's. To reach even the current spending power as the Chinese, India will take 20 years of very fast growth, if not longer. The GDP per capita is $1700 in India. Good luck buying a $1500 iPhone with that income level. Even for the relatively well-off people like me, it's a major waste of money. I can buy a Oneplus ^(which I did) and pay 6 months of rent in a good house in major cities in India in the cost I buy an iPhone X. I just don't see Apple doing anything outside of cost cuts that is going to get them out of this hole they dug for themselves.

9. toukale

Posts: 669; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Double post

11. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

You guys have no clue. In India Apple only has a tiny percentage of iPhone sales, period. The first half of 2018 Apple sold less than 1 million iPhones. Apple continues to decline in India. They only recently made iPhone SE's in India to get around the tarrifs. But the real problem is Apple has to compete with a ton of Android OEMs that are not only foreign, but local OEMs in India as well. Boast_rider your number 3 option above is a huge factor for why Apple will continue to flounder in India. There is a ton of Android developers in comparison to a fraction of iOS developers in India. That is not going to change unless Apple can only get their numbers up. But I don't see that happening. Competition is fierce in India.

12. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Btw there has been 64 million Android smartphones sold in India for the first half of 2018 to Apples less than 1 million iPhones sold for the same timeframe. If sales continue the way they are going in India Apple will have just over 1% of the market in India, which is a steep decline for Apple. Where as Android is continuing to grow. In Q1 Android grew 11%, and in Q2 Android grew 20% while Apple declines.

15. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Yes, I completely forgot the app argument. Most of the country specific apps are made for android only, since almost no-one uses iPhones. This is exactly opposite of what happens in the US, where most of the country specific apps are better for iOS. A simple reason being that you need a MacBook to develop apps for iOS, which is a major barrier for entry. I don't see Apple doing anything that can improve their situation at this point. It's simply too late and India is too poor to improve sales just by perception. What will people do? Take loans to buy iPhones: no.

19. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Too poor or not, India looks like it's going to be the second largest country for smartphone sales. It's currently the US, but it looks like India is going to topple that soon enough. With Android leading the way. Both China and India have huge Android markets in comparison to Apple iOS market. Apple continues to lose market share in the worlds largest growing smartphone markets.

4. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

@Boast_rider I couldn't have said it better myself.

5. Papa_Ji

Posts: 878; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Don't want any product from a company of terrorist country.... Country with no value... Country which always cheats with INDIA.

10. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

I mean you guys killed someone for eating beef that's worse than terrorism.

16. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

You guys kill kids in schools, and people for looking brown or black. I think that's worse.

18. NateDiaz

Posts: 1092; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Yes sir, you're right that's worse Americans must do something to stop that. And since I'm not an American, it's now become my responsibility to hand you over your L. Keep this L, triggered fella.

7. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

Poor countries can’t afford iphone.

13. parvsingh05

Posts: 100; Member since: Jan 11, 2012

Should bundle up the latest iphone with a cow.. then see the sales.

17. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1277; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

The problem is, Apple treating their customers as Cow...

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