“In Bengaluru’s busy Madiwala neighborhood, a Poorvika Mobile World shop is plastered with posters for Samsung and Xiaomi and filled with inexpensive phones from brands like China’s Oppo and Vivo,” Mark Gurman and Saritha Rai report for Bloomberg. “Off to one side is a forlorn display stand with the iPhone 6, 6s, and X, the latter sitting upside down. Despite a zero-interest payment plan and cash-back incentives, Apple Inc. is lucky if the iPhones account for 25 of the 1,000 smartphones the store sells each month, says manager Nagaraja B.C., who goes by one name. ‘The average budget of a shopper is about 10,000 rupees,’ he says, roughly $150. The iPhone SE, the cheapest Apple model, costs almost twice that. For $100, shoppers can get a Xiaomi Redmi 5A with a bigger battery, better camera, and greater storage capacity.”

“Lost in the hoopla around Apple’s $1 trillion capitalization has been its serious trouble in the world’s second-largest smartphone market, where it ranks 11th,” Gurman and Rai report. “The company accounts for 1 percent of India’s phone sales and sold fewer than 1 million phones there during the first half of 2018, according to Counterpoint Research, while Xiaomi sold more than 19 million. During a weeklong trip to India two years ago, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told just about every employee, politician, and Bollywood star he saw that the country was central to his plans. During a July 31 earnings call, he barely mentioned it. Behind the scenes, though, he’s been working to remold Apple’s failing India strategy, according to current and former Apple employees.”

“Michel Coulomb, a well-regarded veteran Apple executive, parachuted in from Singapore to oversee its India operation at the end of last year,” Gurman and Rai report. “He and other executives laid out a strategy to rekindle iPhone sales that focused on better retail deals with higher sales targets, the establishment of Apple stores in India, an overhaul of the company’s relationships with independent retailers, and improved apps and other services aimed more closely at Indians, including a revamped version of Apple Maps by 2020, according to people familiar with the presentation.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This will be a multiyear effort.

India should approve Apple’s plan to sell Apple Certified refurbished iPhones in India. Not only would they be affordable to more consumers in India, Apple’s refurb’ed iPhones are easily better than competitors’ new phones! Why keep the Indian people shackled to inferior iPhone knockoffs when they could have the real thing?MacDailyNews, May 25, 2016

SEE ALSO:
Apple sales execs depart as company flounders in India – July 16, 2018
Made-in-India iPhone 6s production underway as Apple looks to avoid Indian import tax – June 26, 2018
Apple ups iPhone prices in India as government hikes taxes on imported phones – December 18, 2017
India raises import tax on electronic products, including cellphones; move to hurt Apple – December 15, 2017
Apple slashes prices of iPhone 7, iPhone 7 plus, iPhone 6s in India – September 14, 2017
Apple seeks tax breaks for suppliers to make iPhones in India – August 1, 2017
Indian Prime Minister Modi meets with Apple CEO Cook ahead of President Trump today – June 26, 2017
Apple broadens their iPhone attack in India, the world’s second biggest mobile market – June 22, 2017
Apple is making old iPhones new again to win India – June 12, 201
Apple again asks Indian government to allow sale of certified refurbished iPhones in India – February 6, 2017
Indian IT minister says Apple plans to make iPhones in Bengaluru – February 3, 2017
Apple nears deal to manufacture products in India – January 25, 2017
Apple is ready to make iPhones in India, for a price – January 20, 2017
India to consider Apple request for tax breaks and policy exemptions with ‘open mind’ – January 18, 2017
Apple is horse-trading mightily with India – January 4, 2017
Apple appoints veteran executive to revive sluggish India sales as supply issues hamper iPhone X launch – December 19, 2017