Apple Making Moves to Sell More iPhones in India
The Wall Street Journal reports on recent moves Apple has made to increase sales in India, one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Recently the company has launched the iTunes Store and the Apple TV there, and it was rumored that Apple Retail Stores were coming to the subcontinent as well.
Apple is sidestepping wireless carriers to seize greater control over marketing in India and offering no-interest loans to lure lower-income consumers. The company has also boosted staff in India by 30% to 170 employees in the past six months. And it is ramping up the introduction of other products, with the Apple TV video-streaming gadget expected to reach stores in coming weeks, people familiar with the matter say.
The result is that Apple shipped more than 252,000 iPhones to India in the quarter through December, more than triple the number in the previous three months, according to research firm Canalys.
India has frequently been mentioned when talking about Apple's possible development of a lower-cost iPhone, because most smartphone users in India use postpaid plans and pay for their phones up front, instead of the subsidization model that is used in the West.
The Journal quotes a number of experts saying that Apple will have to come out with a more inexpensive phone to compete with other manufacturers -- Samsung sells Android phones that start at $100, while the cheapest iPhones sell for $500 and a new iPhone 5 is close to $850.