According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, total smartphone shipments in India grew a healthy 19 percent annually from 25.8 million units in Q2 2015 to 30.7 million in Q2 2016. Nearly 97 percent of the total smartphones shipped in India were Android phones thus making Android a star performer in smartphone OS market in India.
Apple shipped just 800,000 smartphones in India in the second quarter of 2016 which was 1.2 million units in the same quarter last year. Apple’s iOS fell 35 percent annually and has halved from 4 percent to just 2 percent in India during the past year. This is due to low cost android phones and costly Apple phones in the Indian market.
Indian smartphone market is price sensitive and these years Chinese smartphone manufacturing brands like Xiaomi, OnePlus etc offer high end specs at quite affordable prices. Apple will need to reduce iPhone pricing to cheaper levels, attract more telecom operator subsidies and enlarge its retail presence through Apple stores or online channels i.e E-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart etc.
India is currently the world’s third largest smartphone market, after China and the US and growing quickly due to low cost smartphones penetration rates, expansion of young middle-class with higher income and intense competition among smartphone manufactures, retailers, vendors and telecom operators.
Now-a-days, even high end specs android smartphones costs somewhere between Rs. 20-30,000 to end customers and most of the young Indian population go for android smartphones ranging between 10-15000. Apple’s cheapest iPhone costs 40,000 thus making it quite expensive to majority of working Indian Population.
Making cheaper iPhone may help apple boost its sales in India, but time and time again it has been proven that Apple likes to keep higher margins in its products. Also, even if they design low cost iPhone for Indian customers but if it fails to compete with other android smartphones specs, Apple’s sales in India may drop even further.
It would be interesting to see how Apple response to these market developments and what it plans to improve their market share in India.