Apple’s Prospects in India

Roopesh Chander:

I think Tim Cook’s outlook on the Indian market is a little too optimistic.

Firstly, iPhone sales in India were never really hampered by the unavailability of LTE (or 4G as they call it here in India). Anyone who can afford an iPhone in India has access to a fast broadband internet either at home or at work, probably both. The LTE rollout speeded up only this year here in India (earlier, only one network operator, Airtel, offered LTE), but LTE support is a standard feature among high-end devices being sold here for a while. At present, LTE is supported by even sub-$150 devices from big brands. The spread of LTE in India is not going to suddenly make iPhones more desirable, nor is there any significant upgrade cycle coming because of LTE. […]

Third, India is indeed looking a bit like how China was in 2005 in terms of GDP per capita, but India has far less number of people who can afford an iPhone than China does. The addressable market for Apple in India is tiny, and is growing quite slowly. Of that, those who can afford the current year flagship will constitute a minuscule number compared to China.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016