“Smartphone maker Apple has seen a sharp fall in its India sales during the first three months of 2013, a trend that analysts say might persist as the California-based company looks to make deeper inroads into world’s third-largest smartphone market,” Indu Nandakumar reports for The Times of India. “Sales in India had soared soon after the November launch of iPhone 5, the latest iteration of Apple’s smartphone… ‘The October-December quarter was an exceptional one for iPhone, but that hasn’t been the case since then,’ said Manasi Yadav, who tracks India’s smartphone market for researcher IDC. According to IDC data, iPhone sales have been on a downward trend after the robust sales in response to the marketing campaign and financing schemes.”
“Between January and March, Apple sold some 120,000 iPhones in India, down from the 230,000 in the October-December quarter of last year, according to IDC,” Nandakumar reports. “That translated into its share falling from 4.7% to 2.1%. In India, Apple faces competition from South Korean rival Samsung as well as local brands such as Micromax and Karbonn, all of which are among the top three in terms of market share.”
Nandakumar reports, “Samsung, which has a 40% share of the smartphone market in India, had responded to Apple’s marketing and sales moves with its own offers of discounts and financing schemes. ”
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MacDailyNews Take: A lower-cost iPhone would be a boon for Apple in emerging markets. If they can differentiate between the high end iPhone and the low end effectively, that is. Things like fingerprint scanners, Liquidmetal or other case materials (aluminum vs. polycarbonate, for example), sapphire displays, display sizes and quality, camera quality, iOS 7 features, etc. can be effective differentiators.