Why Apple Failed So Miserably In India

apple-logoApple is the largest company in the world; India is about to become the most populous country in the world, leaving behind countries like China and the United States. So, the logical event to take place would be Apple’s increase in sales in India. However, logic, in this case, has nothing to do with Apple’s failing business in India. Even though India’s economy is bursting with potential, it is still a relatively poor and developing country where the GDP per capita is slightly over a thousand dollars. This creates a market environment where expensive, or overpriced gadgets are just not welcome. However, the GDP numbers are not the only reason Apple is failing in India quite spectacularly.

Even though India has over 1.3 billion potential customers, out of which 80% are just starting to use smartphones and the Internet, Apple in India is nowhere to be found. Apple hasn’t even received legal clearance for official retail stores and is actually about to get banned over privacy issues. This interesting phenomenon requires a thorough inspection, so let’s take a look at some possible reasons iPhones in India are nowhere to becoming mainstream. But, before we continue with the article, make sure to visit custom research paper writing service, in case you need professional help with any of your tasks!

Apple products are too expensive for India:

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As mentioned before, there is an issue with India’s GDP. India is actually in the sixth place when it comes to GDP, only preceded by countries like Great Britain and Germany. However, when we take in consideration the number of people that live in India, and we translate the GDP numbers into per capita income, we get a number of approximately 1639 dollars, which then ranks India at 112th place out of 164 countries by the World Banks. These numbers show that India is still dealing with poverty, despite a growing economy.

So, when we consider these numbers and compare them to the prices of old or new Apple products, we can see the first, major problem. For example, iPhone XR of 64GB comes at a price of 749 dollars; that is only if you’re a US citizen. In India, the same phone costs 1096 dollars. The iPhone XS of 64GB comes at a price of 1425 dollars in India. When we compare the prices of iPhones in India to the prices of other, Android smartphones, the failure of Apple on the Indian market becomes clear. Around 75% of smartphones in India are sold at a price of 250 dollars, and 95% of smartphones cost less than 500 dollars. This means that there are numerous low-cost, high quality, locally manufactured devices Indians would much rather choose over iPhones. To put it more simply, Apple is just too expensive for the Indian market.

Apple is not willing to adapt:

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According to Apple Insider, iPhone shipments in India have dropped a staggering 40% in 2018, and Apple’s 2% market share estimate has fallen to 1%. One of the main reasons for this is Apple’s inability to compete with other companies due to the lack of willingness to adapt. Apple’s strategy of raising prices is backfiring on the Indian market, and since there haven’t been any changes in the way they conduct their business in India, Apple is probably going to stay at the 1% market share for a long time.

The smartphone market share in India belongs to Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, and other companies at 20% to 29%. At around 1500 dollars, when compared to the products of the companies mentioned above which are usually more than half a price of an iPhone, the new iPhone products are simply a tough sell. Not to mention the fact that Apple doesn’t want to accept their legal obligations in order to open Apple retail stores in India, or the fact that it has to manufacture 30% of Apple products locally.

Apple is not compatible with Indian apps:

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There has been a long dispute of Apple and Indian companies over the app compatibility in India. One major dispute that stands out is the one between Apple and TRAI, which is an Indian agency that regulates telecom networks in India. Apple doesn’t want to allow a TRAI app on the iPhone, and it might be possible for TRAI to ask telecom companies like Airtel, Vodafone, and Jio to delist iPhone from their networks. This has raised a lot of question regarding Apple’s privacy policy too.

Other Apple apps, like Apple Maps or Siri, also seem to be incompatible with the needs of the users in India. For example, Apple Maps provides incorrect cartographic representations of the roads, fails in searching places and the driving directions do not work for Apple Maps in India. When it comes to Siri, the voice assistant fails to recognize Indian accent, Indian names or even the names of the same restaurants that are available in the States. The accent, however, seems to be the biggest concern when it comes to using Siri in India. Indian customers also have no access to Apple Pay or Apple Wallet, which is also a big issue.

Consumer awareness:

Apple Logo

Indian smartphone users have turned out to be more aware of the smartphone market and business competition, using that to their advantage in saving money. More and more smartphone consumers in India are also becoming aware of the technological changes and are keeping up with the trends, but are not consumeristic. To them, Apple stands for the ultra-consumeristic Western philosophy, while India decided to move away from such business management, based on people’s need for new, shiny iPhones and other Apple products that prove their status in the society. The majority of Indians are very well aware of how overpriced Apple products are, especially iPhones, and compare the prices with other Android manufacturers to save money.

Can Apple make a recovery?

iPhone Call Man

According to Bloomberg, there are ways Apple could start its way to recovery in 2019.
– Apple should be resolving the government dispute over retail stores in 2019, and set up three stores, in New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai.
– Apple will start producing some of its India-aimed iPhone SE and 6s models in Bengaluru. However, the issue over 30% local manufacturing requirements is still nowhere near being resolved.
– Siri will undergo changes in regards to understanding the local languages and accents.
– Apple intends to overhaul in-store branding and product displays.