Apple Continues to Struggle in India as iPhone Sales Drop 35 Percent in 2016

Despite India's overall healthy growth in the smartphone market -- currently sitting as the third largest behind China and the United States -- Apple is having a tough time gaining ground in the country. According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, Apple saw a drastic percentage dip in iPhone users from 2015 to 2016, with 35 percent fewer iPhone devices sold this year. Earlier in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted iPhones are too expensive in India, potentially harming the company's sales figures as it tries to grow.

In its new report, the market research firm said that Apple sold just 800,000 handsets in Q2 2016, while in the same year-ago quarter the company sold 1.2 million units. These deflating sales numbers rippled into Apple's operating system marketshare in India, essentially getting halved down from 4.5 percent in Q2 2015 to 2.4 percent in Q2 2016. Director of Strategy Analytics, Woody Oh, pointed out a few ways Apple might go about course correcting its current struggles in the country, including the ongoing saga of boosting its retail presence in India.

iPhone-6s-main

“Apple iOS fell 35 percent annually and shipped 0.8 million smartphones in India in Q2 2016. Apple’s smartphone marketshare has halved from 4 percent to just 2 percent in India during the past year. Apple iOS will need to reduce iPhone pricing to cheaper levels, attract more operator subsidies and enlarge its retail presence through Apple stores or online channels if it wants to regrow significantly in the future.”

Apple Stores aren't as ubiquitous in India as they are in other parts of the world thanks to the country's rules on foreign direct investments, which required 30 percent of goods sold by a foreign company to be manufactured or produced within India. Thankfully, after a ruling in June cleared the way for companies to circumvent that law, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a precedent by granting Apple a three-year extension on the strict local-sourcing rule, due to its single-brand retail company status selling "cutting-edge technology." Companies similar to Apple are expected to get similar treatment.

While the relaxation of these rules should help Apple moving forward, it doesn't change the fact that Android remained the dominant force in India this year. In total, 29.8 million Android smartphones shipped within the country in Q2 2016, growing from 23.2 million in the same quarter last year. Similarly, Google's Android operating system remained the dominant force in the Indian mobile market with a record 97 percent hold for the quarter, increasing from 90 percent a year ago.

Apple's retail future in the country might be turning around, but the company is still hitting smaller roadblocks on its route to increasing sales figures in India. In May, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ruled "not in favor" of a proposal laid out by Apple to sell used iPhones in the country. Thanks to Apple's repeated growth frustrations, Strategy Analytics said that Android's domination of the Indian smartphone market "looks unbeatable right now, due to its deep portfolio of hardware partners, extensive distribution channels, and a wide range of low-cost apps like Gmail."

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

rocknrollme Avatar
80 months ago
That's the problem when selling a thousand dollar phone in a country where most people struggle to eat everyday.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kobayagi Avatar
80 months ago
"Earlier in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook ('https://www.macrumors.com/roundup/tim-cook/') admitted iPhones are too expensive in India ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/05/24/iphones-too-expensive-india-apple-tim-cook/'), potentially harming the company's sales figures as it tries to grow."

Does this mean they're a bargain in the rest of the world? I think not. Just wait till they add the "Pro" name and make them even more expensive. ;)
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ka-spot Avatar
80 months ago
don't know about india, but apple obviously can't give us something new. I just can't wait to skip iPhone 7...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BvizioN Avatar
80 months ago
That's what usually happens when you get lazy!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nope7308 Avatar
80 months ago
Good.

Apple needs to be knocked down a peg or two. Resting on their laurels a little too much, if you ask me (and even if you don't).
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
80 months ago
That's what usually happens when you get lazy!
India is incredibly price conscious; Apple doesn't sell cheap phones. No surprise here.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky Removed From iOS App Store Ahead of Upcoming Shutdown

Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:27 pm PDT by
The Dark Sky weather app that's owned by Apple is no longer available for download in the U.S. App Store, suggesting that it has been removed ahead of schedule. Apple acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020 and has since incorporated elements of the app into the Weather app available on the iPhone (and soon, the iPad). Dark Sky remained available for purchase as a standalone weather app...
iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow

Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro Max Popularity Could Lead to More Differentiation Between iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has seen high demand for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could lead the company to further differentiate the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple could add exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in an effort to encourage more people to purchase the larger and more expensive device. Kuo last week said that Apple asked...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
iOS 16

Everything New in the Latest iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 Betas: Stage Manager Expansion, Wallpaper Tweaks and More

Tuesday September 27, 2022 11:36 am PDT by
Apple today released new betas of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 to developers, tweaking some of the functionality that's been introduced in prior betas and in the case of iPadOS 16.1, adding a major new feature to Stage Manager. We've rounded up everything new in both betas below. Wallpaper Updates Apple has updated the Wallpaper section of the Settings app to allow users to swap between...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...