Companies including Apple are releasing almost a hundred smartphone models ahead of India’s Diwali shopping bonanza, a massive, unprecedented rollout for companies looking to capture a bigger chunk of the world’s second-largest mobile market.
More than a dozen foreign and local smartphone makers will vie for attention around the Hindu Festival of Lights on Nov. 14, which ushers in an annual gifting spree that can make an American Christmas seem subdued. Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. showcased its smaller and more affordable iPhone 12 mini.
India’s smartphone penetration rate, which is the share of the population that uses a phone, is about 32%, compared with 61% in China and the U.S.’s 82%, according to data from the 2020 Newzoo Global Mobile Market report—suggesting significant growth potential.
Apple, which in years past was effectively priced out of India’s market, is going big in 2020. The company is increasingly turning its focus toward the country to reduce its dependence on China both as a market and as a manufacturing base amid escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing. Apple opened its Indian online store in September with a special offer of free AirPods and personalized engravings — in a choice of seven local languages — with iPhone 11 purchases. Within the first two hours, Apple had to halt the offer abruptly after running out of stock. The company set a “September quarter record in India, thanks in part to a very strong reception to this quarter’s launch of our online store in the country,” CEO Tim Cook said during the recent earnings conference.
MacDailyNews Take: India’s Diwali shopping should be very good to Apple this year.
Because the Indian government is working to incentivize smartphone production in India, new local manufacturing could help Apple reduce the price of iPhones in India by as much as 30% by eliminating import duties. This, along with the new online store and physical retail stores to come next year finally makes Apple’s future in India bright!