Monday, February 18, 2013

India - iPhone sales propel Apple to second place

Apple is now the second largest smartphone brand in India in terms of revenue, an upcoming IDC report has revealed. The report shows that Apple now has a hold on 15.6% of the total revenue generated from smartphone sales in India, behind Samsung's 38.8%. With the rise in market share, Apple now has supplanted BlackBerry that originally held the spot below Samsung, with a 6% market share.
After taking a look at the IDC report, The Economic Times notes that Apple's 15.6% share of the Indian smartphone market marks an almost 300% jump from the 3.9% share that it held in the third quarter of 2012. Apple recently reshuffled their distribution and launch strategy for its products in India and signed Redington and Ingram Micro as its primary distributors for India. The smartphone maker has also reportedly increased its ad-spending in India and increased its employee headcount from approximately 130 to about 170 by the end of 2012.
However, the IDC report also shows that Apple still remains at fifth place when it comes to the total number of smartphones sold in India. This fact is mirrored (albeit in an exaggerated manner) by a recent Nielsen India survey that showed that a mere 1% of 10,000 respondents expressed preference for iPhones while a massive 62% favoured Android smartphones. Long-time favourites Symbian also showed a strong outing in the survey with 21% positive responses while Windows Phone had 8% of respondents behind it.
The high revenue coupled with low actual sales for Apple devices can be explained by the fact that all iOS products are sold at premium prices in India. However, with its increased focus here, Apple has introduced a zero percent EMI scheme to Indian customers. But as a market analyst told the Wall Street Journal, to grab a larger share of the market with respect to actual number of handsets sold, Apple needs to introduce lower priced devices for the Indian market. The other way would be to follow the China model, where Apple has witnessed substantial growth without reducing prices or introducing less-expensive devices but rather by increasing its retail presence and targeting users who can afford an iPhone. So far, Apple seems to be following the latter model but it's yet to be seen if it can replicate its Chinese success story, here in India.
What do you think should be Apple's main strategy to increase smartphone sales in India? Tell us in the comments section below or voice off-on our Facebook page.

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