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Apple has a new plan to fix its failing iPhone India strategy

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Apple isn’t doing that well in India, carving out a mere 1% of the smartphone market in the country and selling just 1 million units in the first half of 2018. It’s now looking to turn things around from the ground up by revitalizing its sales approach.

Bloomberg reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook is working behind the scenes to remold Apple’s failing India strategy. The first step in this process began towards the end of last year when Apple veteran Michel Coulomb flew in as its new India head. He booted out 3 of the company’s top sales executives in June and hammered out a new plan to kickstart iPhone sales.

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One key problem that Apple faces is that its iPhones are just too damn expensive. Taxes and customs duties means that the handsets sell at an extreme premium which is out of reach for most Indians. To combat this, Apple is apparently going to offer holiday deals all year round in partnership with banks and retailers.

This doesn’t sound too different from Apple’s current policy of offering cashbacks and EMIs, but perhaps it has something more radical in mind. According to people familiar with its plans, the company is planning to ask individual stores to quadruple sales targets to 40/50 iPhones a week. If they consistently don’t hit these goals, the brand will cut them off.

Also Read: iPhones may get deactivated in India over TRAI-Apple feud

Apple is further planning to provide staff training to teach customers how to use an iPhone, in addition to redoing in-store branding and product displays. Another key development is the opening of three wholly-owned Apple Store outlets in New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai.

Buying an iPhone is only one part of the equation though. Apple has to improve its India-specific services as well. It’s supposedly working towards this with steps like an Apple Maps revamp for 2020. Still, the firm is yet to address Siri’s limited comprehension of local languages or the lack of Apple Pay support in the country.