Sunday, July 13, 2008

Apple's India Strategy Sucks!

As I watch the news of the new iphone launch around the world, I cant help but balk at the indifference that I see in Apple's attitude towards the Indian market.

Here is whats happening:
  • Most Indian consumers have never had the chance to see the iphone.
  • iphone will be released later this year in India.
  • Whatever little marketing is being done, is done by the carriers (Airtel and Vodafone). Apple is surprisingly absent in the marketing campaign.

The launch of iphone presents Apple with a magnificent opportunity to begin with a bang. None of the other Apple products (ipod, macs etc etc) have the potential that the iphone does. India has close to 200 million cell phone users today and this number will keep growing by leaps and bounds for the foreseeable future.

Why Apple should re-think their India strategy:
  • Numbers!! - 200 million users and growing
  • Indian Spending Habits - Indians (especially the middle class) are surprisingly extravagant at spending for cell phones. For example, it is not uncommon to see people spend $$ equal to one month's salary on their cell phone as it is a status symbol. That is unheard of in the US. Assuming iphone would be priced at $300 in India, and looking at the number of people who earn that amount in a month, the potential customer base is huge.
  • Brand Establishment - The Indian consumer is surprisingly brand conscious. Apple is lesser known in comparison to Sony, HP, Phillips etc. iPhone can establish the Apple brand in India which will help Apple sell more of its other products.
  • Future! - Apple will be have a bigger customer base and it bodes well for the future of the company to have an established base in India.
  • More iPhone Apps - The more number of users there are, the more Apps you are going to see written for the iPhone. With an intelligent strategy, Apple can mint money with the apps written for the iphone by the Indian programmers. It is a win-win situation.