According to a recent report by news agency Reuters, Apple sales in India continue to take a hit as customers seem to opt for Chinese counterparts in India over iPhone. The report quoted a 27-year old Bengaluru-based software engineer Samee Alam who instead of buying one of the iPhones, decided to “settle” with OnePlus 6T at the last moment.
Alam was quoted as saying that although he was keen to get hands on one of the iPhones, it did not make a sense to him. He further went on to say that he can get three good phones or even a decent gaming laptop as the new iPhones cost almost 1 lakh rupees.
Well, this could be the case with many Indians like Alam out there, who in spite of wanting to get an iPhone, end up buying a well-specced Android phone for half the price (or even less).
If we look at the reasons why people turn their back on iPhones, one of the obvious reasons is the ever increasing cost of the device. However its competitors in India are able to sell their feature-packed devices for far less, and one of the key reasons for that as Reuters rightly pointed out is how a majority of smartphone brands in India including the Chinese ones have opened manufacturing plants in the country under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative.
The report further quoted industry experts as saying that Apple is perhaps the only brand to import the majority of its phones. That adds up to high import duties, further making the iPhones expensive.
Responding to Republic TV’s request for a comment, Pavel Naiya, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint Research, had this to say:
“Smartphone users in India do not stay with one particular phone for so long, unlike in the US and Europen markets. Due to a wide variety of options and competitive pricing, customers end up buying phones from Chinese brands like OnePlus and Xiaomi. It affects iPhones sales in the country as iPhone customers do not upgrade to a newer model as fast as Xiaomi or OnePlus users do.”
The report mentions that the staff at several stores in Bengaluru pointed out that the launch OnePlus 6T is the reason for declining iPhone sales. OnePlus 6T starts at Rs 37,999 for the base variant, which costs half the price than Apple’s “affordable” iPhone XR.
Reuters report further mentioned that the Apple-licensed store in one of Bengaluru’s big shopping malls failed to catch attention ahead of Diwali. This comes as a bit of surprise since consumers in India tend to shop ahead of the festive season.