In a not-so-surprising turn of events, Apple is rapidly losing its standing as the top premium smartphone brand in India. The December quarter saw a change in the rankings when Samsung slipped to the second position with a market share of 34% while China’s OnePlus topped the ranking with 36% market share.
In comparison, Apple came in third with a huge margin with a market share of just 23%. Apple India’s premium segment shipments drastically fell by 25% in Q4 2018, and the reason for this decline is mainly due to the exorbitant price tags for iPhones. As Apple continues with the 20% import duty on new imported iPhones, it will continue incurring more such losses.
As a result, Apple India finally announced that they would be manufacturing locally. Foxconn, a Taiwanese manufacturing company, has reportedly become the contract manufacturer for Apple India’s iPhone production with the manufacturing unit located in Tamil Nadu. Apple India made this move to reduce the prices of premium iPhones and boost sales.
Foxconn is already the manufacturing partner for OnePlus in India, as the latter’s General Manager states their plan in expanding and dominating the Indian market share in the premium smartphone segment.
However, 2019 spells more competition with the entry of Huawei, another Chinese brand offering Android-powered premium smartphones. Aggressive sales and distribution strategy from OnePlus, Samsung, Huawei and Google will pose quite some difficulty for Apple to regain its position.
The road ahead for Apple India is looking a little bumpy, but if they can offer the Indian consumers affordable iPhones, they might just be able to ride smooth.