Cost of cool in India? An Apple iPhone

“In 2013, Apple wakened to the potential of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. India also happens to be the second-largest mobile market, with 800 million active users,” Saritha Rai reports for The New York Times.

“‘Apple sees that the market is at a takeoff point. Sales numbers could get serious within a year or two,’ said Anshul Gupta, a Mumbai-based principal analyst for mobile devices at the research firm Gartner. Apple’s shipments have doubled from 2012 and will surpass a million phones in 2013, Mr. Gupta said,” Rai reports. “It is also a market where 80 percent of smartphones sell in the range of $70 to $200, said Mr. Gupta, the Gartner analyst. High prices have kept Apple at the tail of the top 10 brands by sales, way behind No. 1 Samsung, which sells more than three-quarters of its phones for less than $400, and No. 2 Micromax of India, whose most expensive phone is $350. The cheapest iPhone costs about $525 in India.”

“To draw young buyers and increase its volume and market share, Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., offered a number of enticements besides the payment plan. Full front-page newspaper ads and TV commercials in recent months offered bonuses for trading in certain old phones and multiple deals, but with a single carrier so far. Wary of the inevitable branding-versus-pricing dilemma, Apple carefully couched these offers to not look like discounts,” Rai reports. “Making the phones cheaper, without appearing to be cheap, is enticing a new category of young, brand-conscious Indians…”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. Why does it even matter how many iPhones Apple sells in India? I’m sure there aren’t a lot of Porsches and BMWs sold in India as there are in other parts of the world. From some of the conditions I’ve heard about India, they probably shouldn’t be wasting their salaries on expensive smartphones and should be using it for more important things like food, housing and sanitation. This goes not only for India but any emerging nation where poverty is rampant. Maybe consumers in India really aren’t ready for being targeted as iPhone owners and I’m not trying to be insulting.

    1. Those who have never been to India and rely on CNN or Fox tend to only see what the camera points at. India has a very fast growing middle class and also with billion people, the country also has a very large proportion of rich people.

          1. @ 313c7ro, no never been to India, but i know they are highly corrupt, incompetent and have bad taste, they are a nation of non excellence, where “its good enough” mentality pervades. Definitely the kind of culture who would frown upon apple for over engineering too much. Remember Steve Jobs criticising the other smart phones with keyboard during the 1st iPhone launch, well Indians are supporters of those horrid smart phones. Also the Indians have no respect for intellectual properties, they will copy and steal shamelessly, no wonder Samsung and android is number 1 in India, they suit each other, Apple should stay away from this dump

          1. i know Apple and the iTunes / app store is doing very well is Japan, and apple should concentrate on that instead of chasing the “Junk” market, let Samsung and Android have that market. In India the iPhones will be jail broken and other illicit activities will take place, investing in India is waste of time and resources. Take a look at the pictures of Real India in the link below

    2. I think your wrong here. Yes India has lots of poverty. So does the USA. 🙁

      “To draw young buyers and increase its volume and market share, ” The blogger gets it wrong by focusing on market share, like many bloggers. But he does realize that payment plans in India are critical. And not only is the iPhone a business statement, it holds its value. In two years they will be able to sell their old iPhone and get a new one for cheap $.

      Just saying..

    3. Growing middle class.
      One of the largest populations in the world.
      Huge existing (and growing) active smartphone market.

      Hmm. Nope, nothing to see here, clearly. Why would Apple want to make establish a foothold in one of the world’s largest smartphone markets? I can’t for the life of me imagine why.

    4. The USA has over 16% of its population living below the poverty line and over 20% of children live below it. Both of these numbers are rising.
      India’s figure is around 25-30%. A difference certainly, but not exactly large enough to point the finger at Indians and telling them how they should be spending their money…
      Perhaps the USA should be concentrating ways to alleviate poverty in supposedly the richest nation on earth by allowing real increases in the minimum wage or even just sufficient rises to keep pace with inflation to allow struggling families to help lift themselves out of debt traps and become extra contributors to the US economy. Poor people don’t buy things apart from the cheapest of food and clothes…
      In India, the proportion of the population in the middle class with spare income to spend on consumer goods is growing and the % living in poverty is shrinking. Food for thought.

  2. India is obviously a very poor country. Don’t know that they will ever equal the sales in China but there certainly is a lot of potential there. A lot of customers. And they do like their bling! Even more than in China. That gold iPhone will do well in the land of the sacred cow. The iPhone will continue to be a status symbol no matter where it is sold.

  3. Anybody opening with “In 2013, Apple wakened to the potential of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market.” is a fool.

    Apple is arguably the top strategic planner in the computer and cell phone fields. A company like that doesn’t suddenly wake up and realize, “Oopsy, we kind of forgot about this country with a billion inhabitants. I guess we’d better start doing something there.”

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.