Just last month, Apple opened its first online store in India and is getting ready to inaugurate its first physical store in the country next year. Before this, iPhones could only be purchased through e-commerce companies like Amazon India, Flipkart, and others.
Apple’s presence in the country has intensified in recent years, as India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market. Even so, Apple didn’t really pay attention to the market because India is still a developing country. Consumers here prefer cheaper Android phones or older, more affordable iPhone models.
According to research and analytics firm Canalys, in the third quarter of 2020, which just ended, Apple’s iPhone sales increased by 800,000 units. That’s a lot for a company that is in the ‘other’ category in a sales chart led by Xiaomi, Samsung, and Vivo.
For India, Apple has a different approach, adapted to the needs of the market. For example, last year the company was advertising the ”incredible fast iPhone 6S” in the country. Most recently, Apple started manufacturing older models in India, to release them to the market and fall into the country’s prime minister ‘Make in India’ program. This exempts the Cupertino group from certain income taxes and also alows Apple to import and sell other models manufactured in China.
iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and the 2020 iPhone SE are currently being produced in India. As the iPhone 12 starts to hit the market, these models are expected to become slightly more affordable and increase Apple’s smartphone sales in the country.