Apple Expanding Big in India

By Naveen Athrappully, Epoch Times
October 9, 2013 Updated: October 9, 2013

Apple is planning big expansions in the world’s second-most populous country. Until now India has never been one of Apple’s focal points and almost 90 percent of their Indian business came from a few major metro cities.

Phones are not subsidized by telecom contracts in India as they are in other parts of the world. The relatively expensive Apple handsets are overlooked in favor of cheaper models by the severely price conscious Indian market.

Apple’s competitors like Samsung, Nokia, and LG have already established themselves with a good countrywide network of distributors, dealers, and branded outlets. Cheap fares from local and Chinese brands cater to the rest.

India remains the largest mobile market in the world after China, with Samsung leading the pack currently with a 36 percent share, whereas Apple is at 2 percent in the April–June quarter, according to research firm Canalys.

For making headways in the Indian market, Apple India’s country head Maneesh Dhir and telecom business chief Sanjay Kaul are pursuing pricing strategies along with deeper representations in various towns of the country. They are focusing on delivering the iPhone, iPad, and iPods with enticing installments in tier-1 and tier-2 cities.

India is growing fast with a large population moving out of its rural areas and building up lives in and around cities. Many cities around the country have witnessed a massive increase in living facilities and jobs, thereby giving rise to disposable incomes across the country.

Dhir and his 150-strong team have played no small part in expanding the Apple exclusive store network and managed to reduce the time difference between international and local launch dates. According to a report from The Economic Times, they have met recently with the country’s top CEOs and senior executives of multi-branded electronic retail outlets to roll out Apple products in their stores.

Apple’s sales have increased 400 percent since the previous quarter, while iPhone sales have doubled. The plan includes selling the products by a “store-in-store” model partnering with the electronic retail chains already established in different parts of the country. Apple is currently scouting for at least 100 franchise stores in the smaller cities.

The price will remain a major factor in the Indian market. Introducing an installment scheme could be the first solution. Apple certainly has room to grow in the subcontinent with a huge pent-up demand from the burgeoning population. They’re targeting at least $1 billion in sales this year from India.