Apple Has Encountered 'Little Success' Growing in India Due to High Prices of iPhones

The Wall Street Journal has published an in-depth look at Apple's efforts to grow its sales in India, the "world's biggest untapped tech market." With smartphone sales flattening in saturated markets like the United States, Apple is said to have turned to India for new growth, but with "little success so far."


The report claims that just one in four Indians own a smartphone, providing Apple with an opportunity to sell iPhones to millions of new customers in the country. The issue is that India is a very price-sensitive market, with more than 75 percent of the smartphones sold in the country costing "less than $250."

Apple-authorized reseller Flipkart continues to sell the iPhone SE in India for around $250, but other iPhone models are priced between the equivalent of $325 and $1,950 in the country, well above the budgets of many Indian customers.

The Wall Street Journal explains:

At the heart of the issue is Apple's reluctance to change its traditional business model for selling the iPhone. Rather than make a range of handsets, it has prioritized a limited number of coveted products, sold at high prices—a strategy that revived the company after near bankruptcy in 1997 and helped make it the first U.S. public company to reach a $1 trillion valuation.

The report claims the number of iPhones shipped in India has fallen 40 percent so far this year compared with 2017, and Apple's market share in the country has dropped to about one percent from about two percent, citing research firm Canalys.

Apple created a five-year plan to increase Apple's sales in India to $5 billion by 2020, but the iPhone maker posted revenues of $1.8 billion in the country in its most recent fiscal year, according to the report, suggesting that the company is unlikely to meet its target without explosive growth within the next fiscal year.

Government policies haven't helped the situation. Apple has faced difficulties in openings its first retail store in India, for example, as the country requires single-brand, majority-foreign-owned retailers to source at least 30 percent of their manufacturing materials from India-based suppliers.

As one would expect, though, Apple CEO Tim Cook remains optimistic about Apple's future in India based on his recent comments.

"We've had really great productive discussions with the Indian government and I fully expect that at some point they will agree to allow us to bring our stores into the country," Cook said on Apple's earnings call last month. "We've been in discussions with them and the discussions are going quite well."

"I am a big believer in India," he added. "I am very bullish on the country, and the people, and our ability to do well there."

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
20 months ago
Trying to sell a phone which costs much more than the annual salary of a perspective customer is an exercise in futility. What is it that Apple doesn't understand about this?
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago

I'd say iPhone prices in the US are well above many US customers, not just Indian, and that may be one reason why sales are slowing in the US

Lol this. I am a doctor, make enough money to afford any iPhone on market right now but I still wont ever spend $1400 on an iPhone, even $1000 makes me think twice.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago

iPhone models are priced between the equivalent of $325 and $1,950 in the country, well above the budgets of many Indian customers.

I'd say iPhone prices in the US are well above many US customers, not just Indian, and that may be one reason why sales are slowing in the US
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago
I am in shock.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago

Trying to sell a phone which costs much more than the annual salary of a perspective customer is an exercise in futility. What is it that Apple doesn't understand about this?

I stopped buying iPhones when they put the price up to more than half my monthly income, and switched to Android.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago

Why does apple even bother with India? Their government imposes ridiculous restrictions on foreign companies and their people are too poor to afford iPhones.

Even if just 5% of Indians bought iPhones, they would still have 50million customers.Not rocket science, is it?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Model Size Compared to Original iPhone SE and iPhone 7

Saturday July 4, 2020 9:44 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 dummy models based on leaked schematics have been starting to circulate online and in online marketplaces. Not happy with the circulating size comparisons between the rumored 5.4" iPhone 12 and the original iPhone SE models, MacRumors forum user iZac took matters into his own hands and purchased his own 5.4" dummy model to provide more detailed size comparisons between the original...

Top Stories: iPhone 12 Rumors, Apple's A12Z-Based Mac mini, Leaked iMac, and More!

Saturday July 4, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
With WWDC now behind us, our attention this week largely turned back to rumors, led by increasing claims that Apple controversially won't be including a power adapter in the box with the iPhone 12. We also saw a few other iPhone 12 rumors, signs of an upcoming iMac update, and some more information on timing of updates for Apple's smaller iPads. The other big topic this week was Apple's...

Apple Survey Asks iPhone Users What They Do With Old Power Adapters

Friday July 3, 2020 10:13 am PDT by
Amid multiple reports that Apple will no longer include a power adapter in its iPhone boxes starting with the iPhone 12 later this year, it appears Apple is surveying recent iPhone buyers to ask about what they've done with the power adapters that came with their previous iPhones. Screenshot via Twitter user @bedabb_ Apple's surveys typically cover numerous aspects of its products, but...

Tom Hanks Discusses 'Heartbreaking' Shift of WWII Film Greyhound From Theatrical Blockbuster to Apple TV+ Exclusive

Monday July 6, 2020 7:53 am PDT by
Tom Hanks' WWII drama "Greyhound" is set to premiere on Apple TV+ this Friday, July 10, and ahead of that debut the actor gave an interview with The Guardian discussing the film. "Greyhound" was originally planned to see a theatrical release this summer, and was repeatedly delayed in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Apple won the streaming rights to the film, and in the new...

Shipping Estimates for 27-Inch iMac Continue to Slip, Now Into September

Monday July 6, 2020 6:55 am PDT by
Amid rumors and hints of a forthcoming update for the iMac, supplies of Apple's current 27-inch iMac continue to dwindle with mid- and high-end stock configurations now seeing shipping estimates pushed back into September. The 27-inch iMac has seen tight supplies and extended shipping estimates for months now, but the situation has been gradually worsening to the point where new buyers can...

Apple Officially Obsoletes First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display

Wednesday July 1, 2020 3:40 am PDT by
As expected, Apple's first MacBook Pro with a Retina display is now officially classed as "obsolete" worldwide, just over eight years after its release. In a support document, Apple notes that obsolete products are no longer eligible for hardware service, with "no exceptions." This means that any mid-2012 Retina MacBook Pro 15-inch models still out there that require a battery or other...

First Arm-Based Macs to Be 13-Inch MacBook Pro and Redesigned iMac, Launches Coming in Late 2020 or Early 2021

Sunday June 21, 2020 9:18 am PDT by
Apple plans to introduce its Arm-based custom designed chips for Macs at WWDC, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors today, agreeing with an earlier report from Bloomberg. Kuo says that the first Mac models to adopt Arm-based chips will be the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and an iMac with a redesigned form factor, with Apple planning to launch the new models in the in fourth...

Hands On With iPhone 12 Models Showing New Sizes and Design

Monday July 6, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by
Ahead of the launch of new iPhones we often see dummy models created based on leaked schematics and specifications, with those models designed to let case makers create cases for the new devices ahead of their release. We got our hands on a set of dummy models that represent the iPhone 12 lineup, giving us our first close look at the iPhone 4-style design and the different size options. Subscri ...

EU Advertisers Criticize New App Tracking Privacy Controls in iOS 14

Friday July 3, 2020 3:44 am PDT by
A Google-backed group of European digital advertising associations has criticized Apple for requiring apps in iOS 14 to seek additional permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites, reports Reuters. Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook and Alphabet's Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user...

LinkedIn Says iOS App Reading Clipboard With Every Keystroke is a Bug, Fix Coming

Friday July 3, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
iOS 14 introduces a feature that alerts users when apps access their clipboards, and tons of apps have been caught clipboard snooping. LinkedIn is one of the iOS apps that has been reading user clipboards, and iPhone owners have complained that the app copies the contents of the clipboard with every keystroke. LinkedIn is copying the contents of my clipboard every keystroke. IOS 14 allows ...