Mobile & Wearable

Apple struggling to sell iPhones in India

… but changing legislation could help

Apple is reportedly struggling to sell iPhones in India, but there is hope for the company yet.

According to The Economic Times, sales of the iPhone have fallen sharply in India, but thanks to changing regulation which will ease local sourcing rules, Apple could open more retail stores in the country and increase its market share in the months and years ahead.

The report suggested that shipments of the iPhone dropped by more than 42% in the first three months of the year, though Apple enjoyed a jump in April as it discounted iPhones via carriers to increase sales and adoption in the country.

Fast-forward to May and June, though, and iPhone sales dropped again – suggesting the company needs to up its game.

Apple shipped around 220,000 iPhones in India in the first quarter of 2019. Speaking of the figures, a source told The Economic Times that: “Analysts at the firm estimate the number could rise three-fold for the half year.

“However, the full year estimate is 1.5 million to 1.6 million, a 10-17% drop from 2018 and as much as 53% lower than the peak shipment of 3.2 million in 2017.”

“The silver lining was in April when shipments rose to as much as 200,000 units fueled by price cuts and discounts on select devices and the clearing of iPhone X and XR.”

Apple is reportedly investing more in India as a production hub at the same time as it’s revealed the country is relaxing its requirements on local sourcing.

Previously, Indian authorities required companies to source at least 30% of their goods locally, but that has been difficult for companies such as Apple to meet, therefore reducing investment in them.

India, which has been struggling to attract foreign direct investments in recent years, is relaxing these laws to allow foreign businesses to invest in manufacturing and local retail.

“Apple should be celebrating this. If anything, this makes it easier for them to ramp up their timelines for an India store,” Rushabh Doshi, research manager at Singapore-based research firm Canalys, said in her interview with The Economic Times.

“An Apple store in time for the launch of the next iPhone will create a positive hype and will boost overall sales further,” he added.

What are your thoughts on Apple’s struggles in India? Should the company change its approach to increase sales, withdraw from the market or even introduce a new low-cost iPhone to appease price-conscious consumers? Let us know using @AppleMagazine.

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