Apple Looking To Take Advantage Of India's Growing Smartphone Market
While many markets have played a major role in Apple's success, there are some that are still emerging all over the world. Apple is now looking at one of the fastest-growing markets as a new avenue for domination: India.
Apple had been looking at different Asian markets where it could move its manufacturing, partly because of ongoing legal disputes with Qualcomm. To that end, Apple has completed the first trial run of iPhone assembly in India, turning to local manufacturers in building the iPhone SE, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company only produced a small number of phones, testing the waters to see if it could be a viable new market.
Apple confirmed the move with TechCrunch, releasing the following statement: "We are beginning initial production of a small number of iPhone SE in Bengaluru. iPhone SE is the most popular and powerful phone with a four-inch display in the world and we'll begin shipping to domestic customers this month."
The SE is the smallest and most inexpensive iPhone model available on the market today, which makes it an easy choice in Apple looking to make in-roads to the emerging South Asian market.
Despite the small success of the early trial runs in terms of manufacturing and assembly, the iPhone hasn't been selling as quickly as Apple may like. India, while still an emerging market, has been a strong market for Samsung, followed by a handful of Chinese phonemakers, over the last few years. This is so because most companies offer more inexpensive options, even when compared with the iPhone SE.
That could be the second roadblock that Apple hits in the market. Apple has been looking at keeping iPhone prices fairly close, market to market. This would mean that, even if the SE is cheaper in India, its price would not be far off from prices in the United States or Europe. At the same time, given how rapidly the Indian market is growing, if Apple proves to be aggressive enough in the market and rally consumers to its cause, that could make up for the slightly higher cost.
It will also work to Apple's advantage if it moves more iPhone manufacturing processes to India. Right now, the country doesn't handle as much manufacturing as, say, China or Taiwan. If Apple relocates a large chunk of manufacturing there, it could prove to insentivize local consumers to support more Apple products.
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