iPhone Sales Crater In India: Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, and Transsion Outsell Apple

Apple iPhone sales cratered year-over-year in India, dropping 40% in 2018. That’s in spite massive growth in the India market. In fact, in the latest numbers from IDC, the Indian smartphone market grew 14.5% last year and market leader Xiaomi grew even faster: 58.6%.

And in the “super-premium” $700+ segment that Apple typically owns?

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 series out-sold iPhone.

India’s top five smartphone companies by salesIDC

This is a problem because India is probably the world’s last major growth market for smartphones. Europe and North America are mature replacement marketers. China is largely the same. But in a world that saw smartphone sales sink slightly year-over-year, India continues to grow.

And the potential remains for further growth: while Indians bought 142.3 million smartphones in 2018, they also bought 181.3 million feature phones. As the country continues to grow richer, those people will eventually replace their feature phones with smartphones.

But unless Apple changes strategic focus, they won’t be running iOS.

While online sales drove almost 40% of smartphone purchases in 2018, offline sales are still critical, says IDC’s Upasana Joshi. That’s something Apple will need to work on: physical points of sale.

The bigger problems, however, are price and place of manufacturing.

“With the government initiative to push local manufacturing in India, 2018 witnessed further duty hikes on mobile phone components,” says the IDC, adding that a weak rupee contributes to the high cost of foreign phones.

Apple’s working on that by partnering with Foxconn to build iPhones in India, which will lower costs for Indians. That should arrive some time this year. But the company also needs cheaper models that can compete with the high-end features on low-cost phones from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.

I have a Vivo phone along with my daily driver iPhone X, and it’s a solid piece of hardware with a really good camera and decent processor speed.

The poor sales results have led to Apple being lumped into the dreaded “Other” category in phone sales statistics, behind obscure (to westerners) companies like Trassion. Analysts estimate Apple has just 1% of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market.

A few years ago, that might not have been a problem.

Apple made its money from premium device sales, and the developed world plus China sufficed to grow iPhone revenue year after year. Now, however, with lower sales, the company is refocusing on services: iCloud, Apple Music, and others, saying that it will make less and less of its revenue on hardware.

It is challenging, however, to provide services that are tightly connected to a device when you are not able to sell the device in the first place.

[“source=forbes”]

Author: Moli