Apple to scale up presence in India as it faces roadblocks in China

Telecom Lead Asia: Apple is set to scale up its presence in India at a time when the mobile device major is facing roadblocks in China, the #1 smartphone market in the world.

Economic Times on Tuesday reported that Apple plans to triple its exclusive stores to around 200 by 2015.

Three franchisees have been asked to scale up operations in Indian mobile market.

The report says currently there are more than 65 exclusive Apple stores in India owned and managed by franchisees. Apple smartphones and tablets are also sold through multi-brand outlets such as Croma and The Mobile Store.

Lately Apple started smelling success in India for its iPhone range thanks to its initiatives for slashing of prices and offering interest-free EMI options.

In addition to increasing the number of Apple exclusive stores, called Apple Premium Resellers, that are owned and managed by 17 franchisees, Apple also plans to expand its presence in multi-brand stores.

Though India has become a target country for Apple, China is showing lack of interest to support its initiatives there. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese Communist Party’s main propaganda outlet assailed Apple’s customer-service practices.

The report says that this the latest indication that China might move to check foreign companies’ domination of the country’s smartphone market.

The People’s Daily newspaper on Monday accused the electronics maker of declining journalists’ requests for interviews and issuing an empty and self-praising response to a recent critical report by China’s national television broadcaster.

A Forbes report says Cook hasn’t yet released a cheaper iPhone for emerging markets or a larger iPhone to capture demand share that Apple is ceding to customers who want a larger phone.

In 2011, Gartner said Windows Phone would reach 11 percent of the market last year and 20 percent by 2015, eclipsing iOS.

The U.S. company shipped 135.9 million iPhones last year, up 46% from 2011, according to research firm IDC.

The US and China were the only countries that accounted for more than 10 percent of Apple’s net sales in 2012 and 2011. However, Apple’s current expansion in India and China is yet to positively impact the company’s bottom line.

According to Fortune, Apple will post record revenue figures in its Q2 2013 earnings report. Apple posted earnings of $41 billion in Q1 2013, and Wall Street is anticipating that Apple will report that it’s made $43 billion in Q2 2013. However, for the first time in a decade, reports indicate that Apple’s Q2 2013 earnings per share will fall year over year.

Apple’s share of smartphones shipped to India, in value terms, rose to 15.6 percent in October-December from 3.9 percent in the preceding quarter. It has started eating into the market share of Samsung, Nokia and BlackBerry.


Arvind Krishna
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