For those who have maintained the distance with Apple products due to the nonexistence of Apple Store in India, here is a piece of good news for you!
Apple is supposedly all set to open its first retail store in India. The Cupertino giant has been considering quite a number of locations in the city of Mumbai. Reports point towards the fact that the locations being considered are iconic, comparable to the other iconic Apple store locations around the world. They include the iconic Fifth Avenue in New York, Regent Street in London and Champs-Elysses in Paris. Let us look at this news in a bit more detail.
Many people are of the opinion that an Apple Store in a country like India was long overdue. But the reason behind their inability to do so was because they were not allowed up until now. Apple was deemed ineligible for not meeting the adequate local sourcing requirements. However, as the world’s one of the most valuable company is planning to shift its iPhone mass production from China into India, it is finally able to put the wheels in motion regarding India’s first Apple retail store.
Apple Store in India: Why Now?
Apple has been struggling in India for quite some time now. The iPhone sales from the last release of iPhone X have considerably tanked. Their performance, or lack thereof, in important markets like those of China has seriously affected the company in an adverse manner. With India becoming the fastest growing smartphone market in the world, Tim Cook is exploring various adaptive strategies that could help iPhone to strengthen it’s declining sales share.
The prime reason behind the struggle of Apple in India is its absurd pricing strategy in a market that is known for its price sensitivity. With reasonable and cheaper phones flooding the market from Chinese manufacturers like Vivo and Xiaomi, it was common sense that Apple had to lower its prices to have any chance of competing. By shifting the mass manufacturing here, not only would the company be able to save import duty on iPhone by up to 20%, it will also be able to open an offline retail store in the country.
World’s largest smartphone manufacturer, Foxconn is doing quality tests to set up production for the iPhone XR in a location in the suburbs of Chennai. The older models of the iPhone have started being produced in the Wistron plant of Bangalore.
Tim Cook making drastic changes for India
From the looks of it, Tim Cook is no stranger to the importance of India at this moment of time. In fact, its appointment of Nokia veteran Ashish Chowdhary to lead the Indian operations of the company signifies the intent with which the company wants to proceed in the country.
However, the start of the year in India has not been kind to the iPhone maker. Canalys researchers are estimating that the iPhone shipments in India during the first quarter of 2019 have dropped by a whopping 75%. Consequently, Apple’s smartphone market share in the country has been reduced to only 1%.
If Apple is to make India one of its major sources of revenue, as they have done with China, they have got to start giving its products a more competitive price point. They seem to have already started on that path by offering massive discounts on iPhone XR amounting to almost Rs 17,000 ($244). A lot of their future success will ride on the next line of devices they release. Should the price be in the right range, India might become the revenue-boosting region that the company desperately needs outside of the US and China.