Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is banking on India to fuel the next round of growth for the company. This comes at a time when demand for the iPhone in the country has been defying international trends by registering growth of 51 percent year-on-year for the past three quarters even though iPhone sales remain slack for the second consecutive quarter this year the world over. Also, he said to open retails stores in the country.
What should be hurting Apple the most is that its biggest overseas market, China too has been registering negative growth of the iPhone for some time now. If that is not all, it has also run into several other issues in China that has been hampering its growth.
Those include a flourishing duplicate market that is rampant in China so that an exact rip-off of an original iPhone can be picked up for just a fraction of what the original costs. Then, of course, there are the cheap Android-powered handsets sporting decent specs from companies like Huawei, Lenovo, LeEco, Xiaomi and such that has become a dime a dozen. If that is not all, there is a general anti-US sentiment that also sweeps across China once in a while owing to the political differences between the two countries, something that Apple has to grapple with often.
In contrast, Apple is also keen to make the most of the exemption it has been granted by the Indian government on the ground that it is introducing state-of-the-art and cutting edge technology products to the country. That paves the way for the company to get into single brand retail trading, which coupled with exemption from local souring rules has ensured Apple Stores sprouting in the country soon enough.
There are already reports of the Cupertino giant having acquired a 40,000 sq. ft. property in Bengaluru, which is spread across two floors and will employ close to 300 people. That apart, Apple has also invested in a new development center in Hyderabad, which will work towards perfecting its Map application as applicable to India.
The greater availability of 4G LTE services across the country is also another aspect Apple is counting on to unleash its high-end devices in India, including iPhones and iPad devices.
With the tablet market already seems to be settling down to a slower growth rate, demand for the iPad has been on the wane for quite some time now. With iPhone too receding in popularity, the world over even though Android-powered devices continue to grow; Apple no doubt is desperately seeking fresh ground to re-ignite its iPhone growth story. For Apple, India seems to be the perfect place to pin its hope on at the moment.