It seems that Apple is finally heading towards striking gold in India – world’s second largest mobile market. According to the recent IDC report, sales of Apple devices – especially iPhone – have gone up by 400% in last 3 months. All this is due to Apple’s revamped strategy and diverted focused approach towards Indian mobile market since the launch of iPhone 5.
Apple was already sold to Indians as a premium brand. However, due to cost sensitive nature of the market, mobile users stayed away from such hefty investment especially when Samsung is adopting aggressive marketing campaigns to beat competitors.
Apple took detour to launch iPhone 5 in India by ditching Network providers and making the phone available in open market – copying the lesson learned from Chinese market. Redington and Ingram Micro, acting as distributors of iPhone now, relaxed the buying process by offering iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 on easy monthly installments but very low upfront cost starting from Rs. 5,000 on-wards. Besides, both the companies have not only worked out aggressively but, also taken care of effective marketing and promotion strategies with multiple vendors and network operators. All this is resulting in massive turn out of users who are quite excited to find an iPhone in pocket by burning almost throw-away upfront cost.
In the year 2012, more than 700 million Smartphones were sold. Interesting 3 out of every 4 Smartphone sold in Q3 2012 were powered by Android. After China, India is the biggest mobile market with close to 1 Billion mobile subscribers. Besides, the aggressive adoption of 3G and 4G networks is another important form of factor for companies like Samsung and Apple to have focused strategy in place.
In 2012, low-priced handsets registered the highest growth in India. The choice of Smartphone and model is highly influenced with income ability. People belonging to age group of 21 – 35 years are the most active and early adopters of Smartphone. Despite, the penetration (population) of Smartphone is just 2.72% – the lowest compare to other smaller size countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Greece, Taiwan. But, the trend is poised to change as people are becoming more demanding with their mobile devices; Mobile internet usage is all time high and average number of app downloads per users is also growing up with steady pace.
Apple is reportedly working on low-price iPhone, specially to crack the price-conservative markets like India. Undoubtedly, to survive in Indian mobile industry Apple will have to join the dirty price game and why not….. one just can’t do Apple to Apple comparison between two neighbors but almost different markets in terms of culture, behavior, laws, regulations, and most importantly, default cases of various loans.