Apple’s U-turn in India: From arrogance to servility

“In September 2014, Apple launched the much-awaited iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. The new phones were launched in 10 countries, including Hong Kong and Singapore in Asia, on the same day,” Itika Sharma Punit writes for Quartz India. “But as has been the case for over a decade, Apple neither launched the two devices in India nor announced a date by which the smartphones would be made available in the country.”

“But over the recent months, India has become a promising market for the American tech giant,” Punit writes. “While announcing the company’s quarterly earnings on April 26, Cook called India a ‘really great opportunity… We’ve been working (in India) with great energy over the last 18 months or so, and I am encouraged by the results that we’re beginning to see there,’ Cook said during the company’s earnings call. And, less than a month later, Cook made his first official trip to the world’s second largest smartphone market.”

“Despite regulatory restrictions, India is among the top priorities for Apple going forward, Cook said in an interview to television channel NDTV,” Punit writes. “The company is now approaching India ‘very humbly’ and hoping to stay in the market for a ‘thousand years,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It was more like indifference than arrogance. When you can’t move enough volume at premium prices in emerging markets, you can’t move enough volume. Now, with India’s growing wages, Apple is interested, hence the company’s willingness to please.

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?

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Apple to open first-of-its-kind iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in India – May 18, 2016
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India rejects Apple’s plan to import and sell refurbished iPhones – May 3, 2016
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  1. Tim Cook is somebody who respects other cultures.

    We saw this in action when Apple wanted to enter the Chinese market. It took time to learn how best to deal with the Chinese and what to offer the customers.

    It’s the same challenge in India, but the culture is quite different to China and therefore the way you play the game is quite different.

    Tim Cook always plays the long game and that’s likely to work out very well in India.

    1. China did not work out well for Tim Cook. The Chinese government shut down two of Apple’s key service products, the iBooks Store and iTunes Movies. It has also denied Apple the right to trademark the name “iPhone,” allowing other companies to use the name for their own, non-Apple-related products. Meanwhile, Apple’s outperformance in China may be coming to an end, as revenue in the greater China area plunges and consumers turn to domestic manufacturers.

  2. Quartz India is a joke with their headlines. Hit-whoring headlines to the extreme over there. They should not be taken seriously.

    Tim Cook himself said the reason for the slow-burn on the India market up to this point was because of the slow pace of LTE development there. And if you followed India’s rollout of 3G, that was fraught with difficulty as well, it’s entirely plausible. Nothing to do with Apple being arrogant. Everything to do with the wireless networks being able to provide a worthy iPhone experience.

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