India is the world’s second largest smartphone market right after China. So if a company does good here, it’s bound to do good elsewhere. But this is surprisingly not the case for Apple. The Cupertino tech giant is struggling to sell the iPhones in India now. They have also lost a number of key sales executives in the country.
Apple’s market share in India was around 2.5% at the end of 2017. They sold 3.2 million iPhones last year while less than a million were shipped in the H1 of 2018. The major reason is the price. The majority of Indian smartphone owners want something cheap and now Asian companies are delivering with cheap and fast devices.
Samsung and Xiaomi are neck and neck since Q3 of 2017 and are followed by Vivo, Oppo and Huawei.
The main reason for their success is their wide portfolio of devices that range from budget smartphones to flagships. With India being a country with people who are converting to smartphones just now in rural areas, it helps your sales figures if you have such a portfolio.
According to sources, Indian operations chief, Michael Coulomb has been slow to develop key business relations with carriers in India. To make matters worse, Apple’s national sales and distribution chief, the head of its commercial channels and mid-market business, and the head of telecom carrier sales for the country have all quit. Apple is reportedly restructuring its sales operations to boost their market share beyond single digits.
Tim Cook likened the opportunity in India to that of China in May 2018. He said “There are obviously huge opportunities there for us and we have an extremely low share in that market overall and so we’re putting a lot of energy there. It’s clear that many people would be moving towards middle class over time like we have seen in other countries.”