The launch of iPhone 6S and 6S Plus in India didn’t go as smoothly as it did in the rest of the world. The US or the UK, especially, sold these new phones like hot cakes. But Apple India sales were tediously slow. The reason? Extremely high prices.
A swift change in strategy
Apple, however, turned its fortunes around with some old-school aggressive marketing. To boost sales, Apple changed its pricing strategy quickly and dramatically, and offered several monetary benefits to customers.
With massive buyback schemes and exchange programmes, Apple offered as much as Rs 34,000 in discounts on iPhone 6S Plus. They took it a step further by making the entry-level iPhone 5S even more affordable with a dramatic price drop. At just Rs 21,500 the 5S was a steal!!
Record breaking quarter
The strategy has worked quite effectively and the results are clear: In Q4 (Oct-Dec) of 2015, Apple India recorded its highest sales in a fiscal quarter yet. It shipped 8,00,000 devices, up from 5,00,000 in the previous quarter.
Q4 of 2015 also turned out to be the most profitable quarter for Apple in India, making it the “Apple of Time Cook’s Eyes“. An increased distribution base should also be counted amongst the reasons that led to this success.
Yearly figures are not available yet, but 2015 will most likely be a record year in sales for Apple. It’s definitely something to cheer about, because Apple is facing serious competition from both newcomers and old timers.
The road ahead
Industry pundits are not too optimistic about the market demand for smartphones, predicting a global decline in the coming years. While this might not be entirely true for an emerging market like India, it still means that Apple will have to work doubly hard to maintain its foothold in the lucrative Indian market.
It’s essential, therefore, that Apple gets it pricing strategy in India right. And it seems to be doing that quite well. With a low priced entry level iPhone 5S, Apple is competitively priced to capture the mid-range market. And with their other efforts like launching an Apple Store in India, the future looks even more promising.