Apple is still struggling to sell iPhones in the world’s hottest markets

“Apple is gearing up for a revamp of its iPhone lineup, but it’ll need to do a lot more to catch its rivals in some of the world’s hottest smartphone markets,” Rishi Iyengar reports for CNN. “The company’s signature device has failed to gain a strong foothold in countries like China and India, as well as other markets in Asia, where most of the growth in smartphone sales is coming from.”

“By contrast, Asia offers huge potential. Hundreds of millions of people in the region have never bought a smartphone, but so far Apple has largely missed out on the opportunity,” Iyengar reports. “The iPhone accounts for only 2% of smartphone sales in India and between 8% and 10% in China — the world’s two biggest markets — according to industry estimates. It also has a small share of other Asian markets with huge potential, accounting for 5% of sales in Vietnam, 8% in Thailand and just 1% in Indonesia in the past year, according to IDC.”

“Prices are already Apple’s biggest challenge in India, where around 800 million people have yet to experience the internet, and most of them will likely do so through smartphones. The country is one of the world’s most expensive places to buy Apple devices, with increased tariffs pushing the price of an iPhone X to $1,700 earlier this year,” Iyengar reports. “That puts it out of reach of most Indians, who earn less than $2,000 a year on an average.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unit share is but one measure of “growth” and it’s not the most important measure, either.

Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers.

Little Mikey had a lemonade stand. Okay, it was a kiosk. He sold 100 (8 oz.) cups yesterday for 10-cents each. He spent 11-cents per cup for artificial lemon flavoring, corn syrup, and the paper cups. He used tap water because it was free. Threw it all together in a big plastic pail. He’s out a buck for all of his trouble. Boy, that was a lot of work for less than nothing!

Around the block, little Steve runs a lemonade stand, too. It’s all blonde wood and very clean. He sold 50 (24 oz.) glasses yesterday for 50-cents each. He spent 20-cents per glass on fresh-squeezed lemons, pure cane sugar, spring water (mixed with the utmost care), and some very nice glassware (he buys in bulk and gets a good price). He took home $15 yesterday.

He’s currently building his newest stand right where Mikey’s used to be.MacDailyNews, April 23, 2009

iPhone X drives smartphone revenue dominance; Apple made more money in Q417 than the rest of the smartphone makers combined – February 16, 2018
Apple iPhone took more than half of worldwide smartphone revenue share in Q417, a new record – February 15, 2018
Strategy Analytics: Apple has shipped 1.2 billion iPhones in the past 10 years; $760 billion in global revenue to date – September 8, 2017
Apple took 83% of smartphone market profits in calendar first quarter – May 16, 2017
How important is Apple’s iPhone market share? – May 29, 2017


  1. ““That puts it out of reach of most Indians, who earn less than $2,000 a year on an average.”

    So the companies that are going to capture this “most Indians” market are going to sell phones for what? $2?

  2. I understand that Apple sells premium products to premium customers.

    But India is obviously the gold standard market in terms of lack of premium customers being in the minority.

    Considering the average salary to buy an iPhone at those prices, sounds like a college loan for the average person. Obviously there is a tariff imbalance, as well.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why Apple cannot make a low cost phone to address the economies of scale in India and China. Other companies are successful and beating the pants off them.

    Buy the competitor phones, do an iTeardown and either match or exceed the specs. The Apple brand alone will ignite sales.

    What’s the problem?

    Billions are left on the table same as Macs the last few years …

        1. True, but if they are spending more money than they are making and I don’t know the answer, what will change? If they are afraid to look bad, they certainly have not shown it in a lot of areas since Cook took over…

    1. India is only a “crap market” because of the high tariffs imposed by their government to prop up their domestic manufacturers. And, yes, India’s median household income is only about $3,200 (in 2013, per Gallup), but like a lot of countries, they’ve got a growing middle class that CAN afford Apple phones.

      With a billion people in all, they probably have a premium cell phone market nearly as big as the US or Western Europe. That’s why Apple is working so hard to make inroads there, as they have in China.

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