Apple iPhone SE targets India 4G market

Apple iPhone SE targets 4G worldThe launch of the new entry-level iPhone SE with 4-inch display is expected to assist Apple to bolster its smartphone share in India and support the growth of LTE market.

Indian 4G smartphone buyers can expect the launch of Apple iPhone SE in April.

Apple has priced iPhone SE smartphone at $399 or nearly Rs 26,000 for the 16GB model aiming for expanding presence in India and China, where telecoms are investing in 4G networks. Apple iPhone SE supports VoLTE networks.

4G subscribers of Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Reliance Jio Infocomm will be looking for high quality LTE smartphones. Apple is already working with China Mobile, the top telecom operator in the world based on mobile user base.

Telecom market research agency Ovum says Apple is a high-end device manufacturer and operates on very high margins. Unlike smartphone start-ups from Asia, Apple will never sacrifice profits to gain market share. Hence, do not compromise on quality of your next 4G smartphone.

Apple targets 4G world

Apple claims that iPhone SE offers exceptional performance with the same 64-bit A9 chip offered in iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus for fast speeds, longer battery life and faster wireless.

iPhone SE users can browse, download and stream content even faster with Wi-Fi up to three times and LTE up to 50 percent faster than iPhone 5s. Apple iPhone SE also includes more LTE bands for better worldwide roaming and supports Voice over LTE and Wi-Fi calling for high-quality wideband calls.

Indian 4G smartphone buyers are currently relying cost effective Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Coolpad Note 3, Lenovo K3 Note, Samsung Galaxy On7, Coolpad Note 3 Lite and Yu Yuphoria. All these brands are available in the below Rs 10,000 price bracket.

Apple goes for small device

Apple sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, which represents 13 percent of total iPhone sales for the year.

The US-based technology major may be looking at moving users away from the refurbished handset market in developed and developing markets by offering a low cost Apple iPhone.

“Some smartphone recycling companies told us that up to 80 percent of refurbished smartphone sales are iPhones. It is in Apple’s interest to have those customers purchase a cheaper iPhone SE rather than a refurbished iPhone 5 to gain a stronger hold on iPhone sales and corresponding margins,” said Ronan de Renesse, lead analyst, Consumer Technology.

China now represents more than a quarter of Apple’s revenues. The Chinese market is not bringing as much growth as previously and is becoming more competitive than ever. Apple must decrease the entry price of new iPhones to sustain growth in China. The iPhone SE offers very high specifications for a low price, which is essential to appeal to Chinese consumers.

Apple in India

Indian smartphone space represents the largest growth opportunity for Apple. The company has 5 percent market share of 120 million unit sales in 2015. Samsung is the market leader in India. Micromax and Intex Technologies are the two top smartphone suppliers in the country which has around 900 mobile connections.

But India’s 4G growth is slow despite the fact Bharti Airtel launched the first 4G services way back in 2012. While Idea Cellular is looking at 4G coverage in 750 towns, Vodafone and Airtel are yet to reveal their 4G targets. Reliance Jio 4G will cover at least 20,000 towns as and when it launch the 4G service.

Apple has been investing in India throughout 2015, with a development center in Hyderabad and licenses to launch its own stores in the country. With the iPhone SE, Apple will not really disrupt the Indian smartphone market but rather try to dominate high-end sales – 77 percent of smartphone sales in India in 2016 will be below $200, according to Ovum.

In addition to the launch of a 9.7-inch iPad Pro tablet for $599, the company dropped the starting price of the Apple Watch by $50 to US$299. iPad Pro features A9 processor and the 12-megapixel iSight camera, dual-tone flash, and Live Photos.

Apple has set its target on India. Any move from Samsung and Micromax. Indian 4G smartphone market is growing rapidly. You can expect more quality phones from all top vendors in coming months.

Baburajan Kizhakedath
[email protected]