What Makes Apple So Bullish About India

by Moumita Deb Choudhury    Nov 06, 2017

Apple

Apple is looking at rapid expansion in India in recent months and the aggression is now pretty visible, as affirmed by CEO Tim Cook. For this, the company’s strategy includes building stores, trade channel and developer ecosystem. This strategy already bore results in China and the company is positive about the Indian market.

From quite a time now, Apple has been engaging in a series of moves which clearly indicates its mammoth expansion plans in India and to also take upon the rivals, especially the Chinese players who are ruling in different smartphone segments.

India is the second largest smartphone market in India. The attractive data plans by RJio followed by other carriers has further triggered smartphones sale in India. The need of the market is leveraged quite well by the Chinese players. The Cupertino Goliath now intends to mint money in this booming market.

Apple’s India Drive

Since the mid-last year, we are seeing aggressive expansion plans of Apple in India. In a meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized on the company’s interest to get more access in India and highlighted the economic impact the company is having on the second-largest smartphone market behind China.

The meeting came at a time when the company’s revenue was squeezing out in China and it aimed at leveraging the Indian market for higher sales. 

In August, this year we saw Cook exhibited his intentions to pump in more money and energy into India. He said he is very “bullish” and “optimistic” about the country and plans to expand its footprints.

“We are investing in India…we’ve already launched an app accelerator center. That’s on top of working with the channel and looking at expanding our go-to-market in general,” Cook told analysts.

“And we began to produce the iPhone SE there during the quarter, and we’re really happy with how that’s going. And so we’re bringing all of our energies to bear there. I see a lot of similarities to where China was several years ago,” he added

Cook said he finds several similarities between where the Indian market is now and where China was several years ago.

The company has expanded from a few distributors to more than five now within two years and its tie-up with regional distributors is likely to increase its distribution reach in India.

How India Benefits from Apple

The Modi government has been upbeat to boost technology manufacturing through its ‘Make in India’ initiative started in 2014. Thus, with the Cupertino based company’s interest in the Indian market, it brings a win-win situation for both the parties.

Apple’s contract manufacturer Wistron, has started assembling the iPhone SE in Bengaluru which will bring the coveted smartphone brand in the hands of the many iPhone lover at a much less price than what is usual for the premium smartphone brand.

And now, for the first time ever, Apple is coming for campus placement in India. The company will be conducting its campus placements in IIT-Hyderabad.

Also, the smartphone company plans for its own stores in India and has applied for a single-brand license for the same.

What Aid Does Apple Want From India?

Apple has been pursuing tax concessions from the government officials for local manufacturing for the next 15 years and also fiscal benefits to bring its component partners to the country, but the company has not seen any progress yet.

“I feel like we’re making good progress there and are gaining an understanding of the market, but we still have a long way to go, which I sort of see as an opportunity instead of a problem,” ET quoted Cook as saying. 

The Indian smartphone market is certainly seeing new times with drastic changes. As per recent reports, for the first time ever, Samsung has faltered the ladder in the premium smartphone segment to settle for the third slot which is topped by Apple and OnePlus securing the second spot.

“Apple is expected to have a record quarter in October-December as well with higher on year growth compared with the 1 million it clocked a year ago,” ET quoted Tarun Pathak, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research as saying. 

According to a Canalys report, Apple shipped 900,000 units in the recent quarter. Clearly, the Apple cart in India now looks more attractive than how it previously ever looked.