BY | May 31, 2013

A latest report suggests that Apple iPhone sales in India have gone up by 400%. But this is thanks to dumping of iPhone 4, that is dated and not moving off shelves in rest of the world.

Apple has come out with many gimmicks to attract new customers to different versions of iPhone. The Cupertino, US based company is trying to push up its sales here substantially. India has always been a tough nut to crack for the company and Apple cofounder Steve Jobs had given up on this market. Here Apple products were launched many months after its launch in rest of the world and people had to buy the handset after paying the whole price of the handset upfront. So till now the company could manage to sell merely a few hundred thousand handsets in the Indian market through its resellers that were very few indeed.

But in recent months the company has started paying attention to a market with a population of around 1.2 billion, with around 200 million people in high income group. These people can manage to buy the very costly Apple handsets if Apple came up with some good planning. Now Apple is offering the handset with discounts and with other policies including EMI policies.

A report by Credit Suisse says that with new policies Apple is able to sell as many as 400,000 handsets each month in the Indian market alone. An analyst with good knowledge of Indian smartphone market Sunil Tirumalai says that Cupertino based Apple EMI and cash-back programs helped the company sell huge number of handsets in the Indian market. “The 4-9% implicit discount coupled with the option of easy EMIs spread over 6-12 months became popular…Within a few months, our discussions with handset retailers indicated that iPhone sales went up 3-4x, forcing companies to respond”, says Tirumalai.

But most of the handsets being sold in India with discount are not new handsets like iPhone 5. Its sale remains miniscule and many people have said that it is dumping a dated product at exorbitant price. Apple is giving 18 percent cash discount to the iPhone 4 deal. To be true riding high on the success of iPhone 4, Apple has been able to see a three fold hike in its revenue. An Economic Times report says, “Apple India’s revenues rose 223% to 2003.9 crore in FY12, from Rs 620 crore a year ago. During the same period, the Indian unit’s net profit shot up 431% to Rs 311.5 crore, from Rs 58.6 crore”.

Apple has direct competition with Korean tech giant Samsung for dominance in the Indian market. Sammy with around 45 percent share of Indian smart-phone market and a surging Apple may feel the pinch in the days to come. Even though the devices launched by these two tech giants are awaited with bated breath the world over, a majority of the Indians, having a daily earnings less than $2, prefer to chose the localised version of the smartphones, that have become a rage. Encashing upon the low pricing, the sales growth of the Karbonn Mobiles and Micromax is being shot up incessantly. Going by the present trend, it is being expected that the that the devices would be used by more than 300 million people by 2017.  With the Karbonn handsets start from 3,599 rupees ($66) and Micromax’s from 3,999 rupees, much less than the cheapest Apple and Samsung smartphones which offers iPhone 4 at Rs 26,500 rupees and Galaxy Y Duos Lite at Rs 6,110, a majority of Indian users are choosing the Indian companies.

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