Apple signals emerging-market rethink with India push

“More than four years after it started selling iPhones in India, Apple Inc is now aggressively pushing the iconic device through instalment payment plans that make it more affordable, a new distribution model and heavy marketing blitz,” Devidutta Tripathy and Harichandan Arakali report for Reuters.

“‘Now your dream phone’ at 5,056 rupees ($93), read a recent full front-page ad for an iPhone 5 in the Times of India, referring to the initial payment on a phone priced at $840, or almost two months’ wages for an entry-level software engineer,” Tripathy and Arakali report. “The new-found interest in India suggests a subtle strategy shift for Apple, which has moved tentatively in emerging markets and has allowed rivals such as Samsung and Blackberry to dominate with more affordable smartphones. With the exception of China, all of its Apple stores are in advanced economies.”

Tripathy and Arakali report, “The result: iPhone shipments to India between October and December nearly tripled to 250,000 units from 90,000 in the previous quarter, according to an estimate by Jessica Kwee, a Singapore-based analyst at consultancy Canalys… India is the world’s No. 2 cellphone market by users, but most Indians can’t afford fancy handsets. Smartphones account for just a tenth of total phone sales. In India, 95 percent of cellphone users have prepaid accounts without a fixed contract. Unlike in the United States, carriers do not subsidise handsets.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. “… nearly tripled …” Only 200% growth! That sucks. People need to invest in companies loosing market share, loosing total sales, loosing money, … because that is what the talking heads want them to do. Companies like RIMM, Dell, HP, Nokia, … You know. Losers! Because at one time these losers were winning. I would have added a buggy whip company, but I don’t know their names. One day, I will not remember these losers either!

  2. With a population of a billion, India has at least 1% of her population that can afford an iPhone without having to finance it. Likely another 5% can buy it with financing. If my math is correct, that is a market of 60 million iPhones. Given that Android will likely take half of that, Apple could sell 30 million iPhones every 5 years there because of the high repeat customers. That is a tidy business of 6 million each year or about $2.4 billion a year.

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