After years of neglect, Apple has finally realized that it has a huge potential in tapping the Indian smartphone market
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did not rate India highly on its radar a few years ago but has finally realized just how pivotal the Indian market can be. For years, Apple had seemingly no interest in the Indian market, which was clearly one of the biggest markets for smartphones in the world. Although Apple made it clear that it knew how valuable the Indian market was, the company always felt it could tap better potential from other countries like China, Hong Kong, Singapore etc.
In 2012, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, stated that the company was interested in India and that it would be investing in energy in the country but for the foreseeable future, there would be greater opportunities in other countries. Apple has come a long way from making this statement 4 years ago, as recently Mr. Cook announced that India has become a very promising market for the tech giants.
Apple has realized that the way forward is to shift its focus from the premium smartphone segment for the Indian market and to target more affordable, refurbished phones that sell like hot cakes in the local market. The Indian market is extremely price sensitive, so a shift towards targeting this strategy would seem like a step in the right direction for the American tech giants.
In an interview with NDTV, Tim Cook stated that despite all the regulations that exist, the Indian market is definitely a top priority and the company intends on approaching the situation humbly. This way, the company intends to cement a string foot hold in the market for many years to come. In order to harness this potential, Mr. Cook has visited India recently to better understand the local market and to seek ways forward.
On his visit to India, Tim Cook inaugurated Apple’s Hyderabad office and also announced the tech giant’s plan of setting up a Smartphone apps accelerator by early 2017 in Bengaluru. The news would be a welcome boost to the Indian economy, as the new office will be hiring around 4000 employees. These two major projects come after the company invested millions of dollars, demonstrating just how valuable the Indian market has become for Apple.
Tim Cook also held several strategic meetings with India’s leading businesses like Tata group, Bharti Airtel and ICIC Bank. For now, no major investment news has sprung up but Apple might be up to something in the near future. It’s no coincidence either that Tim Cook’s visit to India has come at a time when the company’s growth rate is slowing down in China, Apple’s second largest market, and sharply rising in India. While the revenue from the Indian market has risen by an astonishing 56%, it has also fallen in the Chinese market for the first time.