According to new data collected by Strategy Analytics, Apple is taking a beating in India. The company has shipped just 800,000 smartphones in the second quarter of 2016 in the country. The number had dropped since the last time when Apple shipped 1.2 million handsets in the same quarter last year.
India is the world’s third-largest smartphone market. The country is expected to buy some 139 million smartphones this year, and a majority of these phones are going to cost less than $150. Google’s Android rules around 97 percent of the market in the country, and it doesn’t seem that Apple has a game plan to change this state of affairs.
Apple CEO Tim Cook spelled this out during a tour of India earlier this year. “It’s difficult for an operator here to sell a product themselves because of the tax structure.” During the same visit to the country, he added: “In India, carriers, in general, sell virtually no phones and it is out in retail — and retail is many, many different small shops.”
It doesn’t mean, Indians are not interested in Apple products. A report came out back in May from market analysts Canalys where Apple was seen challenging Samsung in the premium sector. The overall market share of the company may be small, but it has got potential.
Cook told in an interview that the Indian market resembles the Chinese market “seven to 10 years ago,” and that the company is “taking a step back to view India more strategically.”
It looks like Apple has the potential and intention of waiting out those “seven to 10 years” for the Indian market to develop. Presently the company is busy building the foundations for its future business. “We’re not here for a quarter, or two-quarters, or the next year, or the next year. We’re here for a thousand years,” he said.