Apple heats up competition in key emerging market

“Smartphone appetite among consumers of one of the most populous countries of the world, India, has been increasing. In the first quarter of 2013, smartphone shipments to the country rose by 64% year-over-year to 5.7 million units,” Sarfaraz A. Khan writes for Seeking Alpha.

“Although Apple’s impressive growth in the country poses no significant threat to Samsung, but it will certainly create problems for Nokia, LG, HTC and Sony in India’s smartphone sector,” Khan writes. “India is the second most populous country in the world with a growing middle class but the smartphone’s share of the total mobile market is very low, as identified by SA contributor Sneha Shah, coming in at below 10%. Its neighbor China has a relatively lower smartphone penetration of 25%, but is still significantly ahead of India. By comparison, the American smartphone penetration has reached 61%. Besides the U.S, there are five other developed countries with smartphone penetration of more than 50%.”

Khan writes, “Apple was already offering discounts on its older version of phones. Then it started offering another 18% cash discount which took the total discount to around 25%; making its phones more attractive to Indian customers. According to some recent reports, these measures have been well received by the market as Apple’s monthly sales have risen by as much 400% from just 75,000 to nearly 400,000 units per month. I believe that this is huge achievement for Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

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18 Comments

  1. Woa there! woaa!! The achievement shall come when iTunes, Apps, iBooks and Films sales figures start flowing in like a river glorious! Until then, if these phones are used only for making calls and the occasional internet skirmish, then all that can be said is that which has been said.

    1. D’you honestly think the ’emerging middle-class’ spoken of in this article will be happy with ‘cheap, plastic iPhones or something…?’ Really? Are you that stupid? There’s this word, ‘aspiration’; I suggest you look it up.

  2. It will be cheaper. And probably plastic. 99.99999% of the world doesn’t care that it’s called cheap and made of plastic. It’s made for the emerging markets and will sell like hotcakes. And will sell here in the good old USA just as well. And will have very good margins. Remember, cheap is not a nasty word. Nor is plastic. Cheap means millions and millions of people who wouldn’t/couldn’t buy an iPhone previously will buy one now and be part of the ecosystem. $$$$$! Plastic is just a type of material. The iPhone body just holds all the goodies together. And those millions and millions of people buying that cheap iPhone won’t care that it’s made of plastic. And why would they? No one ever bought an iPhone because of the material. No one, ever. Nor will anyone ever buy an iPhone because of the material. Nor has anyone ever paid more for an iPhone than they had to. Nor will they ever. You buy an iPhone because it’s an iPhone. It’s the best phone out there (until the larger iPhone comes along in early 2014). You pay what you have to and you use it in the body that it comes with. In September you will have two choices. The iPhone 5S and the cheaper iPhone. And come spring of 2014 you’ll have a larger iPhone. And for all those naysayers, the iPad Mini seems to be doing quite well. You remember the iPad mini, the iPad that won’t be made by Apple.

    1. Personally I did hold off buying an iPhone until it was made of something more substantial – ie not plastic. I remember looking at my 1st Gen iPod Touch and thinking why can’t the iPhone be as nice as this?? Although some may frown at this, I am a sucker for build quality thats why I buy products from Apple, Audi, B&O, Nikon.
      Apple have a fine line to walk here, I’m afraid plastic does not exude that premium feel.
      Or if they do release a plastic iPhone, they have to do something special, for instance
      some kind of new hybrid material would be interesting to see. Nissan have developed self repairing paint for their cars…

      1. Really? So which iPhone was your first? Which iPhones did you skip over? What were they made of? What cell phone were you using until you purchased your first iPhone? What was it made of?

        1. I loved the idea of the very first iPhone and the design but hands on I did not like it made plastic, especially as my iPod touch was metal and glass and thinner. I have owned one plastic phone, but my previous phones were the Moto Razr which was matt black metal, then a Nokia which was also metal it resembled an iPod Nano. In the end I waited for the iPhone 4 and my prayers were answered!

          1. Never judge a book by its cover. Keep your gun in your shoulder holster out of sight until needed. The fastest horse doesn’t always look fast. It’s what’s inside that matters. That goes for judging someone and how well a cell phone works. It’s how well your cell phone works not how pretty the case is. But having owned a Moto Razr, you should understand that. I’ll take a plastic case iPhone over a gold case Android phone every time.

            1. My previous phones were used for two things – calls and texts, thats it. As for the covers I’m afraid design is very important to me and will most definitely influence my decision on what phone I purchase. I work in design and photography, so at least in my profession I do judge aesthetics harshly. Apple fortunately mastered design and function with the iPhone 4.

    2. This is not to be underestimated. In a country like India, mobile commerce is leapfrogging desktop commerce as the established practice. Cellular networks are rapidly being built across the country to match demand, even inore remote areas. In small villages, the village will pool funds to buy and share a phone. It’s changing the fabric of what we in America once thought India was like. No more.

      India has an intelligent, well educated population, and is rapidly growing in IT services and business process outsourcing. The country has a ton of highly talented programmers. As we see more apps being developed by Indian developers for the specific needs of its population, iPhone and iPad adoption will increase.

      Globally, we are still in the early stages of mobile phone and tablet adoption, and India, along with South Asia and Southeast Asia, will drive the growth in commerce. Much of Apple’s growth in the next decade will come from this huge trend.

      1. @Brian

        Good points on the mobile commerce. It’s amazing the kinds of transactions that the average person can do with a phone in India. However, I think that app developers should be leery of the pervasive attitude towards piracy that exists. If an app generates profits through a transaction then great. But if developers are looking to cash in on up-front app sales, I think the market is tough. No doubt there are people and a need, but when educated Indian consumers (who work for software companies!!) routinely pirate apps things don’t as rosy.

  3. GM: I like when you post comments; they are consistently enjoyable for me. You know exactly what you are talking about. Perhaps you are an Apple employee. 🙂 Right?.

    1. No, I do not work for Apple. I do have friends who work there. So I have pretty good insight into the world of Apple. I just call em like I see em. Honestly and objectively. The only way to be. I have no agenda. I have no need to please or offend anyone. And I’m certainly no fanboy or troll. I have a life. I have no need to defend Apple if it does something wrong. Why would I? It’s a company. It’s not my best friend. And I understand this. Sadly there are quite a few here who don’t understand this. I feel sorry for them. They defend Apple like mad dogs at the slightest honest negative comment. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. They have no idea how pathetic they look. They need a friend or a girlfriend or at least a dog. I make my living using Macs. Have for decades. I own and have owned practically everything Apple has ever made. Have been extremely happy with almost everything. They make the best. But when they screw up I will take them to task as any logical adult would do. Just as I will give them praise, which is most of the time. I just try to be honest. As I said I’m no fanboy. I have a life. And you’ll have to excuse me, it’s time to go to the Farmer’s Market. Hollywood has more than movie stars you know. Love it!

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