From last couple of days we are hearing about Apple new version of iPhone CDMA which can be launched with in U.S. via Verizon network early next year. Surprisingly Apple seems to carry many other plans for its CDMA version of iPhone in its kitty. Parallel to Verizon, Apple is also holding talks with 2 major Indian telecom operators to dig the possibility of iPhone CDMA launch in India. Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications, two of the leading telecom operators and pioneer in CDMA service, are holding close talks with Apple Inc for possible launch of iPhone CDMA launch in sometime early next year, as reported by WSJ.
Few of the Telecom industry analyst credits the Apple for such major move as Indian is one of the biggest potential market for the new version of iPhone. By all the means, it will benefit both parties if such moves comes into existence.
Why is Apple Desperate:
Currently Apple is marking its presence in Indian market by iPhone 3G & 3GS which available via Vodafone and Bharti Telecom. Despite of creating huge excitement among Indian consumers, Apple failed to capture the significant market share due to high price tag and service availability. Like U.S and Europe market, few of the iPhone’s major features needs 3G network to execute those services. Unfortunately, 3G services were not available at the time of iPhone launch in India and are still few months far from the expected launch date.
People in India failed to find the correct justification for such expensive mobile which is half dead from the beginning. Being as fastest growing mobile market, India has become an important country for almost all mobile manufacturers’ sales plan.
If Apple manages to stamp the success in CDMA market, which is adding 18 million users monthly, company will see further growth in client base as iPhone users including its GSM services. The country currently has about 135 million CDMA users and if both the operators will manage to replicate the ram of iPhone in U.S., it will surely help them battle shrinking revenues and margins due to intense competition. Currently, the cheapest iPhone in India costs more than $670 and is considered very expensive for a country where 42% of the population earns less than $1.25 a day.
At the same time, Apple is also facing intense market & internal pressure due to tough and constant growing adoption of Google’s Android platform. Most of the enterprise level smartphones which have been recently launched india ( and also similar price range of iPhone) are gaining popularity but running on Android platform. As per the industry experts in India, people are going through the transition phase where they 10% – 18% business mobile phone users will upgrade themselves to touch screen smartphones. The numbers are so impressive that Apple can’t afford to miss such prominent opportunity.
Indian Mobile Market Scenario
However, analysts feel Apple may find it tough to generate significant revenue from a CDMA-based iPhone in India given that it is not as widely used as a GSM phone, and because there is stiff competition for smartphones from companies including Nokia Corp., Motorola Inc.,HTC Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Research in Motion Inc.
Moreover, as per few recent reports Google is pushing to become a significant player of Indian mobile industry through little-known Indian handset makers that are poised to launch low-cost devices that include the tech giant’s Android operating system in coming months.
Compare to Nokia, who shipped 1.8 million mobile phones and captured 71% of market share in first half of 2010, Apple accounted less than 1% of market share in the same duration. On the other hand India mobile market is expected to grow by 38 million by 2014 and shows a promising growth for all mobile manufacturers and operators.
By paying attention to such reports and analysis, Vendors in India are ready to experiment with various new handsets and Technology which can help them to establish their presence in world’s fastest growing mobile market. However, It would be interesting to see