Why Apple has only a few fans in India?
It seems like not just we, but the Cupertino giants themselves have noticed it. They have bee trying their best to cope up with the issue for past few months. As a result of that, the sales in the iPhone 4 has been increased, but the recent additions, the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 are still getting only a lukewarm welcome here in India.
The main reason for this half mindedness is the higher price tag of the device. Indian market is really price sensitive. Hats the main reason behind the success of the Indian cell phone manufacturers like the Karbonn and the Micromax. They release smartphones with high end specs at a very low end price tag. Apple's sky high price tag is really a concern of the Indian consumers. Almost all the other smartphones will undergo a price cut a few months after their release. But never does an Apple product. This is the main reason why Apple does not have that many users in India. It is not a cup of coffee for the ordinary middle class or the upper middle class common man of India, who is the major factor in Indian market. Though the company has started cutting the prices of its devices, still the products are away from the reach of a common customer.
Apple set price will be more or less the same for all the new releases. Look at the releasing price tags of the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 for instance. They all had more or less the same releasing price. We can see that other devices, other than Apple have also started releasing smartphones with high price tags. For example the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphones. They have high price tags (above 40,000 rupees). Still they are popular than the iPhone sin India. India being a vast smartphone market, this should be a real concern for the company. Of course the company is trying to boost up the selling of its products in India. They have started offering exchange discounts, cash back offers ans EMI schemes for their products.
Other than the sky high price tag, there is something else that holds back the Indian customers from falling for an Apple product. That reason is the continuous late coming to India. Though the lag has been decreased a bit, it is not completely removed. If we examine the way the company releases their products, it is evident that India is not a priority for them. Though the non mobile devices of the company, like the Mac books have stated reaching India not too late after its US release, the iPhones and iPads are still late comers.
Those mobile devices often come to India only after the initial wave of excitement has ceased. If the device is getting released when the consumers are excited with the first wave of excitement, then the story will be different altogether. We still remember the releasing of the first generation iPad and iPhone3GS, where the devices came to India almost one year after its launch in the US. Come on, who will be excited to buy a device which was released a year before?
Take the case of other manufacturers. They compete to reach their flagship devices in India sooner than later. The Samsung Galaxy S4 reached India after less than a month of its world wide release. The HTC One also came to India soon after its release. Manufacturers started to get the pulse of the Indian market. But Apple is still blindfolding it seems.
Another major reason is that the company has not really tried to fix their roots here in India. There are not that much Apple stores in India as the Samsung. It is evident from the choice of the Indians that they are not giving first choices to Apple products either. Look at the PC for instance. How many Macs you can see, when compared to the Windows and Linux? Macs are seen only with the creamy layer, who has extra ordinarily rich pocket and a keen eye for visual graphics.
Apple will have to bring in more strategic marketing tactics to get a firm root in India. Fr that they will have to rectify the above mentioned points, along with colourful offers. Affordable EMI schemes, opening up more Apple stores, giving regular price cuts, shipping soon after the world wide release are some of the methods the company can try safely. We hope they do so and make India a number one Apple fan!