Apple is struggling to gain market share in India.According to Bloomberg, Apple’s national sales and distribution chief, the head of its commercial channels and mid-market business, and the head of telecom carrier sales for India have all left. The company is reportedly restructuring its sales operations in India, in an effort to boost its market share beyond single digits.
Bloomberg cited sources who said Indian operations chief Michel Coulomb had been slow to develop key business relationships with carriers in India. Coulomb took the job at the end of last year.
According to Counterpoint Research; less than 2 percent of the estimated 60 million plus smartphones that were shipped in the country during the time. Meanwhile, rival Samsung, which has dominated India’s smartphone landscape for several years, shipped 17.4 million smartphones in the same time period, according to analysts at Canalys, while Xiaomi shipped nearly 19 million units.
The biggest possible mistake in Apple’s strategy is that it has priced the Apple products too high for the Indian market. According to the World Bank, the per capita GDP in India is somewhere around $1,940. The new iPhone models, including the base models are quite expensive in India. The iPhone XS is priced at $999 in the US but it is sold for Rs 99,900 ($1370) in India.
Sanjay Kaul, who was appointed as the country manager for Apple in India in 2016, quit the company last month. His predecessor, Maneesh Dhir left the company two years ago. Michel Coulomb, who has been with the company for more than a decade, will be replacing Kaul.
According to Counterpoint, Apple’s market share stood at around 2.5% at the end of 2017. It sold just 3.2 millon iPhones in India last year, while less than a million were shifted in the first half of 2018, said Counterpoint. The iPhone is especially expensive for Indians thanks to import duties.
Another common complaint among Apple users in India is that it’s services don’t work here. Siri can’t understand local languages, Apple Maps have no clue about the routes and there is no Apple Pay to advantage off. It looks like the company is going to address one of these complaints by launching a revamped version of its Maps by 2020.