Indian iPhone Users Discuss Apple's Poor Services Performance: 'Apple Maps is a Joke'


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
37 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
37 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
37 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
37 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
37 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
37 months ago
I rarely have issues with Apple Maps at least in my area.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 With Fix for Text Message Bug and iPhone 12 Mini Lock Screen Issues

Thursday November 19, 2020 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 14.2.1, a bug fix update that comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 14.2 and is available for Apple's new iPhone 12 models. The iOS 14.2.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's release notes, iOS...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...

CrossOver Allows x86 Windows Apps to Run on Apple M1 Macs

Wednesday November 18, 2020 6:07 pm PST by
Codeweavers posted a blog post and video tonight showing off CrossOver running on an Apple M1 MacBook Air. This video shows Team Fortress 2 running on a new M1 MacBook Air: CrossOver is software (based on Wine Project) that runs Microsoft Windows apps on the Mac by translating Windows APIs into their Mac equivalents. The Codeweavers team was able to run the current version of CrossOver on...

Apple Offers Instructions on What to Do if macOS Big Sur Causes Installation Errors on 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro

Thursday November 19, 2020 6:12 pm PST by
Following the release of macOS Big Sur last week, a number of 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro owners found that the update bricked their machines. Affected users saw their Macs get stuck displaying a black screen after attempting to install the new software. Apple has now addressed this issue in a new support document that provides instructions on what to do if macOS Big Sur can't be installed on...
128gb m1 macbook air education cropped

$799 M1 MacBook Air With 128GB Storage for Education Institutions Spotted Online

Friday November 20, 2020 5:15 am PST by
A new configuration of the M1 MacBook Air with 128GB of storage and a lower $799 price has today been spotted on Apple's U.S. Education Institution Hardware and Software Price List. The M1 MacBook Air is only available with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage. There is currently no 128GB configuration on the Apple Store. However, Reddit user "u/dduci97" noticed that Apple has listed...