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."

indian flag and apple maps siri
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."

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

bellang Avatar
48 months ago
Apple maps is great. Purely for nostalgia I use it to see what shops used to be in the area a few years ago.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bellang Avatar
48 months ago
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...
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nvmls Avatar
48 months ago
lol, of course it's a joke, but many americans like to think otherwise because their bubble seems covered on it.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DTphonehome Avatar
48 months ago
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.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDawg Avatar
48 months ago
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
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
48 months ago
I rarely have issues with Apple Maps at least in my area.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

beats updater

Apple Officially Retires Beats Updater Utility in Favor of Over-the-Air Firmware Updates

Wednesday September 30, 2020 2:30 am PDT by
Apple has officially retired Beats Updater, the software utility that lets users update the firmware of their Beats Wireless headphones, earphones, and speakers. Beats Updater allows users to plug their Beats product directly into the USB port of their computer to check for firmware updates online, but with Apple's growing tendency to deliver over-the-air updates to wireless products via iOS ...

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
affinity designer contour tool

Serif Updates Affinity Photo, Designer, and Publisher With New Tools and Functions

Thursday February 4, 2021 1:58 am PST by
Serif today announced across-the-board updates for its popular suite of Affinity creative apps, including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and the Apple award-winning Affinity Publisher for Mac, all of which were among the first professional creative suites to be optimized for Apple's new M1 chip. "After another year which saw record numbers of people switching to Affinity, it's exciting to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
qualcomm snapdragon x60 5g

iPhone 13 Lineup Expected to Use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 Modem With Several 5G Improvements

Wednesday February 24, 2021 8:10 am PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 13 lineup will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon X60 5G modem, with Samsung to handle manufacturing of the chip, according to DigiTimes. Built on a 5nm process, the X60 packs higher power efficiency into a smaller footprint compared to the 7nm-based Snapdragon X55 modem used in iPhone 12 models, which could contribute to longer battery life. With the X60 modem, iPhone...