Apple is aggressively positioning their top selling products into a market of 1.2 billion people. But will the kitchen sink strategy work in this burgeoning nation of over 1 billion people?
The tech giant apparently has been offering the Indian public special payment plans and cashback incentives in their ruthless pursuit to boost iPhone sales in the developing world. According to an article by GigaOm, “Apple, which has struggled to gain real traction for the iPhone in India, has seen sales of the smartphone rise by 300 to 400 percent in the last few months, according to data gathered by Credit Suisse. The sudden spike in sales for the device — going from about 70,ooo to 80,000 units sold per month to about 400,000 units sold in May — can be correlated to Apple recently offering payment plans and cash back incentives for local buyers.”
Apple may be gaining traction but their overall market share in the country remains at a low 3% rate. In fact Samsung is gobbling up the Indian market, dominating the handset market with a 33% share of all smartphone sales. Apple has no choice but to compete on cost in the developing world. The company has been fine-tuning iPhone pricing and marketing strategies by offering older iPhone models at cheap prices and by offering affordable payment plans.
One of the big challenges Apple faces in India is a lack of an established infrastructure. There are no Apple stores in the country and the company is completely dependent upon internet sales and 3rd party distributors.
As an iPhone app developer it is exciting to see the growth opportunities for the mobile ecosystem. The Indian market is massive and could inject hundreds of millions of new users into the app marketplace. The Los Angeles iPad app developer community is excited for what the future holds. In the end, only time will tell how Apple’s market penetration strategy works out in India.