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Here’s Why Tim Cook is Not Able to Sell ‘Super Premium’ iPhones in India

"India continues to be a critical market for Apple as the premium segment is likely to grow faster than the overall smartphone market," he added

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Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, Aug. 1, 2018. VOA

By Nishant Arora

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who skipped mentioning India directly during the company’s earnings call with analysts, has said that there are several factors why iPhone sales are not picking up in the emerging markets like India.

“The customers are holding on to their older iPhones a bit longer than in the past.

“When you pair this with the macroeconomic factors, particularly in emerging markets, it resulted in iPhone revenue that was down 15 per cent from last year,” Cook told analysts late Tuesday.

The Apple CEO said foreign exchange is another key factor behind the slow iPhone sales. “The relative strength of the US dollar has made our products more expensive in many parts of the world,” he told analysts.

However, the growing competition in the premium segment — led by OnePlus, Samsung and Huawei — has made a major dent in Apple’s market share in India.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event to announce new products, Oct. 30, 2018, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. VOA

According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung led the premium smartphone segment in India in 2018 with a 34 per cent share, followed closely by OnePlus at 33 per cent which was the best-selling device of the year. At third position, Apple had 23 per cent market share in 2018.

Industry experts say that it might be a continuing struggle for Apple to build upon volumes in a very price-sensitive India market (85 per cent market below $200), where it currently holds a share which is less than even 2 per cent.

“The new iPhones are costlier than the previous generation, making it unaffordable to the larger masses. Here vendors like One Plus are gaining as they have competitive specs at much better pricing as compared to Apple,” said Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India.

“The newly-launched iPhones are also costlier for the super-premium segment (which is the focus segment for Apple in India), as one can buy high-end products like Smart TVs at the same pricing,” Joshi told IANS.

Apple has already begun reducing the price for third-party distributors in China and may follow the same in India soon.

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A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

The iPhone maker is currently seeking tax relief and other incentives from the government to begin assembling more handsets and open its branded stores, and its proposal to set up a manufacturing unit is reportedly under evaluation.

Apple shipped 1.7 million iPhones in 2018, almost 50 per cent lower than the 2017 shipments of 3.2 million units.

Also Read- Social Media Giant Facebook Earns Record Profits with 2.32 bn Users

“We can expect some kind of price correction going forward as Apple has given indications that they will look at pricing outside the US closely now,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint, told IANS.

“India continues to be a critical market for Apple as the premium segment is likely to grow faster than the overall smartphone market,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Tech Firms Must Start Taking Responsibility for Their Actions, Says Apple CEO Tim Cook

According to Cook, in a world without digital privacy, even if you have done nothing wrong other than think differently, you begin to censor yourself

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event to announce new products, Oct. 30, 2018, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. VOA

Taking a dig at tech giants like Facebook over privacy violations and the unabated spread of fake news, Apple CEO Tim Cook has asked fellow technologists to start taking responsibility for their actions.

During a speech at the Stanford University on Sunday, Cook said that whether you like it or not, what you build and what you create defines who you are.

“It feels a bit crazy that anyone should have to say this. But if you’ve built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos. Taking responsibility means having the courage to think things through,” Cook told students.

“We see it every day now, with every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind eye turned to hate speech. Fake news poisoning our national conversation. The false promise of miracles in exchange for a single drop of your blood. Too many seem to think that good intentions excuse away harmful outcomes.”

“If we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated, sold or even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data. We lose the freedom to be human,” Cook noted.

His concerns came in the wake of several users’ data violation being reported almost on a daily basis. Silicon Valley has faced fierce criticism in recent years over disinformation, privacy breaches and the misuse of data.

According to The New York Times, the Department of Justice is set to probe Google while the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will take on Facebook and Amazon, seeking great scrutiny from tech companies related to users’ privacy and unfair market practices.

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FILE – The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook is already under investigation by the US FTC over its handling of user data. The social networking platform is expecting a fine of up to $5 billion.

“Here’s a plain fact — Silicon Valley is responsible for some of the most revolutionary inventions in modern history aBut lately, it seems, this industry is becoming known for a less noble innovation: The belief that you can claim credit without accepting responsibility,” Cook told students.

According to Cook, in a world without digital privacy, even if you have done nothing wrong other than think differently, you begin to censor yourself.

Also Read- Instagram Testing a New in-app Account Recovery Process

“Not entirely at first. Just a little, bit by bit. To risk less, to hope less, to imagine less, to dare less, to create less, to try less, to talk less, to think less. The chilling effect of digital surveillance is profound, and it touches everything”.

He said that if we believe that freedom means an environment where great ideas can take root, where they can grow and be nurtured without fear of irrational restrictions or burdens, then it’s our duty to change course.

“Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life. Don’t try to emulate the people who came before you to the exclusion of everything else, contorting into a shape that doesn’t fit,” he said. (IANS)