IT giant Apple has high hopes for the booming Indian mobile market, which, at present, is the second biggest in the world, after China. However, it is important to mention that India’s market is the fastest growing – more than 300 million people in India now owns their own smartphone.
With most phones in India costing less than $225, Apple is hard pressed to grab a market share with their steep prices. According to Counterpoint research, India’s own brand, Micromax, holds 11% of the market, while brands such as Lenovo at 9% and Intex at 7% are among the most popular brands. However, the king of the Indian market is still Samsung, with an astounding 25% market share.
According to the same research, Apple only managed to sell 2.5 milion iPhones in India in 2016 and is far behind its global rivals in number of units sold.
Their low numbers are not extremely surprising considering the fact that the entry level iPhone SE model is sold for 28,433 rupees, the equivalent of $424. This price is almost 13,000 rupees ($200), more than the average phone.
However, Apple is the leader in the premium-phone space (450$ and up) with an impressive 62% market share.
Most of Apple’s sales came from the iPhone 7’s launch in the last quarter of 2016 and now the company has plans for increasing its sales.
According to Reuters, and industry source with direct knowledge on the matter, revealed that Apple will now start to produce its cheaper iPhone SE models at a contract manufacturer’s plant in the southern Indian technology hub of Bengaluru.
Earlier this month a separate source also told Reuters that Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner, Wistron Corp, is setting up a plant in Bengaluru to focus solely on assembling iPhones.
While Apple has declined to answer direct questions about this, an IT minister, Priyank Kharge, in the Indian state of Karnataka has confirmed, with a tweet, the Tech giant’s intentions in the state.
The tweet from the IT minister read: “Apple’s intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster cutting-edge technology ecosystem & supply chain development in the state.”
Apple's intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster cutting-edge technology ecosystem & supply chain development in the state.
— Priyank Kharge (@PriyankKharge) February 2, 2017