Besides iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE is probably the most notable product of Apple this year. After two years of failure from iPhone 5C, iPhone SE will get a lot of attention from consumers, experts to the technology manufacturers in the same smartphone industry, especially for the low-price iPhone generation. This segment is seen as a necessity to compete with cheap phones running on Google’s Android operating system.
One of the core market of Apple in this strategy is India – an attractive market share for all investors. If Apple successfully acquired this large, potential market, it may be the key for Apple to take the Crown from Samsung in the smartphone market.
A Lucrative Bait
According to IDC – a market intelligence firm (Puri 2016), their recent data shows that Apple is making a strong foray into India. IPhone now accounts for 2.8% of the total sales of small and medium sized smartphone (tier-II & III) in India in quarter 4 in 2015.
Although Apple has faced difficulties from the high price and poor distribution channels, Apple’ products still retains their heat.
This is shown clearly through the survey by market research firm GlobalWebIndex (Punit 2015) after polling 50,000 Internet users aged 16 to 64 in 33 cities, including at least 1,250 participants in India. Only 9% of those surveyed are using iPhones, but with 32% desired to own Apple phone. It is quite understandable because iPhone’ price in India is always on top when compared with other countries. This makes Apple difficult in competing in a sensitive market about price like India.
Apple is trying to focus on India to expand influence in the market after experiencing huge onslaught from the Chinese market, Asia’s largest economy “. They began signing contracts with new distributors and provided a wide range promotions, and discounts on some older iPhone model to entice customers. This strategy is gradually helping Apple a foothold in India. IPhone sales were grown up to 4.6% growth in the 30 major cities in quarter 4, 2015, and the market accounted for 51% of smartphone sales in India. Puri (2016) also showed that “Apple regained the top position in above $300 smartphone market with 42.1% share with the launch of iPhone 6S & 6S plus in addition to the price correction for iPhone 5S, 6 and 6 Plus”. For instance, in December 2015, Apple has discounted the iPhone 5s three times in just 3 months.
IPhone SE will be an important key
Analysts predicted that launching the new, cheap iPhone will be a way to reach into the developing mobile markets which has not been fully exploited. Brian Blair, principal and co-founder at Grays Peak Capital, said that “This phone is a gateway into India” (Chang 2016). He continued that India’s smartphone market was as important as China’s market in the last few years. By the new, cheaper IPhone, It would be a good way to compete with other competitors such as Samsung, LG, and Huawei.
As the smartphone market is gradually saturated, familiar markets such as domestic market, China, the most populated country in the world, are threatened by the Chinese manufacturers. Thus, Apple has no choice rather than to expand its influence to other potential markets. The gradual opening online stores and retailers in India on the threshold of launching iPhone SE, indicating the cheaper iPhone is a key of Apple on the way to sway the second largest smartphone market in the world. Beetel Teletech, an authorized supplier of Apple said that” it will offer iPhone SE at over 3500 retail locations across India” (Bureau 2016)
So, do you think Apple can capture the Indian market with iPhone SE? Let me know your thought through the comments below!
Published by:Tung Nguyen
Bureau, ZM 2016, “Apple iPhone SE India launch today: Key reasons why you should buy”, Mobiles and Gadgets, Retrieved 8th April, <http://zeenews.india.com/business/gadgets/featured-gadgets/apple-iphone-se-india-launch-today-key-reasons-why-you-should-buy_1873826.html>
Chang, A 2016, “Cheaper iPhone a ‘gateway to India’: Analyst”, CNBC, Retrieved 8th April 2016,< http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/11/cheaper-iphone-a-gateway-to-india-analyst.html>
Punit, IS 2015, “How Apple is trying to up its game in India”, Quartz india, Retrieved 8th April, <http://qz.com/428297/how-apple-is-trying-to-up-its-game-in-india/>
Puri, K 2016, “Tier 2 & 3 Cities in India will Spearhead the Next Wave of Growth for the Smartphone Market; Apple reigns supreme at the top end: IDC”, Press Release, Retrieved 8th April, <http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prAP41064116>