Over the past few months, we’ve written many posts about Apple’s development plans for India. In lieu of that, here’s another update. And it’s a big one!
Apple CEO Tim Cook confirms that Apple Stores will be coming to India
Right now, there are a lot of different retailers selling Apple products in India. While they do stick to a set of guidelines prescribed by Apple, there is still a lot of variation in terms of prices and services offered. The classic Apple stores will bring the much-needed brand unification that Apple needs going forward.
The policy and economics are finally conducive
PM Modi’s visit to America last year was key to this new deal. Apple had sought relaxation on the 30 per cent local sourcing needs, which the government has reportedly agreed to. Other changes in FDI policy have also paved way for the Cupertino-based company to go all out in India.
With the global smartphone market likely to be on a decline this coming year, Apple is looking to cash in on the growing demand in developing economies. India tops that list in the consumer electronics industry.
There is a huge void in the supply of quality products, especially if you look at mid-to-high priced mobile phones. Apple is looking to fill that gap with as much “Brand Apple” as possible. No wonder then that Tim Cook called India one of Apple’s “most important growth areas for the next decade”.
Other announcements and insights
Cook made the above announcement in a town hall meeting with other Apple executives. He went on to emphasise the role of 4G LTE as a driving force for smartphones in emerging markets. Apple sees the rapid 4G-fication of India as a window of opportunity to capture a large consumer base.
The top boss of the world’s richest mobile brand also made it specifically clear that they don’t need to make cheaper, substandard versions of their products to gain market share. Their internal research has revealed that people are ready to pay for quality products.
Well, he’s certainly right there. People are willing to pay. How else do you think Apple registered its most profitable quarter ever over the past three months?
That said, we do believe that Apple should not altogether ignore the mid-range consumer segment. Phones like the iPhone 5C could go a long way in gaining loyal consumers. Priced between 20,000 – 30,000 rupees, these handsets can be the entry point for consumers into the Apple ecosystem.
All in all, we are really excited with the new developments and hope that Apple gets its pricing policy right. We would love to see the Apple brand really taking roots in India and flourishing in the coming years.