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Apple Struggles In India This Year With Less Than A Million iPhones Sold So Far

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Apple isn't doing so well in India, a new report says. Worse, the company is reportedly making some structural changes within its Indian division following disappointing sales numbers in the country.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the company only managed to sell less than a million iPhones for the entire first half of 2018. Three executives have left the company as part of the restructuring efforts, the report adds, which is also presumably due to the lackluster sales numbers.

Apple's Performance In India

Apple has been trying to dominate India's smartphone market without much luck.

At present, the company captures only 2 percent of the entire Indian market, the report notes, and in 2017 it sold just 3.2 million iPhones, per data from Counterpoint Research. Even with strong sales numbers, the company will still have trouble reaching last year's numbers by the end of the current fiscal year.

It's not surprising to see why Apple is attempting everything to capture the Indian market. The country represents the third largest smartphone market in the world, but because of its high tariffs — adding between 15 to 20 percent to the retail price — consumers have largely opted for lower-cost options from the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi.

Earlier this summer, Apple decided it'll build iPhones directly from the country instead of shipping units there, a tactic that the company hopes will help reduce the price of its phones. However, it will definitely take a while before Apple's facilities hit full capacity, and in the meantime, the company is lagging behind its competitors.

CEO Tim Cook has previously said that the company intends to approach the country more aggressively moving forward. India has expanded its 4G network and has a growing middle class, as The Verge notes, and these are key for Apple's growth.

Could India Be The Next China?

Cook has suggested that India could be the next China, which is currently Apple's second-largest market. While the price of iPhones put them out of reach for most people, the CEO has predicted that young, aspiring Indians moving up the socioeconomic ladder would look to upgrade to iPhones.

Despite low sales numbers, however, Cook confirmed this past May that Apple's revenue from India has increased, setting a record for the first half of 2018. This obviously isn't enough to solidify and bolster its presence in the country, however. The fact is iPhones are still pretty expensive, with the iPhone SE going for $375, which is still quite expensive for much of the local market.

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