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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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Apple, smartphone
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.

ipad, Apple, iphone XR
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.

Apple, Campus, China
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

Realme increases Smartphone Prices in India Post GST Hike

"We sincerely hope you will continue to support not only us but also the whole smartphone industry, for more amazing technologies and surprises in the future," the company said in a statement

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Realme
According to the company, the COVID-19 pandemic has highly impacted the smartphone industry, leading to a price hike of components and supply shortage. Pixabay

Chinese smartphone maker Realme on Wednesday announced that it has increased its smartphone prices following the Indian government’s move to increase GST rate from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, which came into effect from April 1.

Realme 6 (4GB+64GB) model which was earlier priced at Rs 12,999 will now cost Rs 13,999 — up by Rs 1,000. Realme X2 (4GB+64GB) which was priced at Rs 16,999 will now cost Rs 17,999 — a price hike of Rs 1,000.

Meanwhile, Realme XT (4GB+64GB) which costs Rs 15,999 will now be available for Rs 16,999.

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Realme
Chinese smartphone maker Realme on Wednesday announced that it has increased its smartphone prices following the Indian government’s move to increase GST rate from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, which came into effect from April 1. IANS

“We sincerely hope you will continue to support not only us but also the whole smartphone industry, for more amazing technologies and surprises in the future,” the company said in a statement.

According to the company, the COVID-19 pandemic has highly impacted the smartphone industry, leading to a price hike of components and supply shortage.
Additionally, the Indian rupee rate has been continuously fluctuating and facing depreciation currently.

ALSO READ: Sufferings of The Migrant Workers Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

“The value of money smartphone players like realme which have been very price competitive and refrained from increasing any prices thus far, will have no choice but to increase the prices to match the GST hike,” said Neil Shah, Vice President, Research at Counterpoint. (IANS)