Apple has finally accepted its importance of emerging markets, especially India, for future iPhone sales.
The presence of 4G LTE networks in India and other emerging markets will give Apple the opportunity to push its latest devices in these regions, Tim Cook was quoted as saying by popular Apple news website 9To5 Mac at a town hall meeting for employees at Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters. Cook also called India one of Apple’s most important growth areas for the next decade, and noted that the company is in early preparations to bring its retail stores to the country.
The move by Apple comes at a time when India has just overtaken US as the second largest smartphone market in the world and is also the fastest expanding smartphone market globally.
Apple also seems to be actively working on a strategy to capitalise its growth in India which saw a 76 percent rise in sales as other markets showed a slowdown. “Sales of the company’s flagship smartphone climbed 76 percent in the country from the year-ago quarter,” Apple’s chief financial officer Luca Maestri had said during the call. Cook supported Maestri by saying that India was a more promising market as the median age is just 27.
But Cook remained bullish about the prices of iPhones in emerging markets. He noted that Apple believes it does not need to release a cheaper, less feature-packed iPhone to appease growing markets. Instead, he said, Apple’s research indicates that people across these regions are willing to spend more for a better experience.
But in retrospect, Apple is planning to sell refurbished iPhones in India and also is evaluating a facility in the country to restore used mobiles shipped from China.
According to a report in the Indian Express , Apple has filed an application to the environment ministry’s technical review committee (TRC) for importing and selling refurbished iPhones in the country.
“Apple would like to seek the government’s approval to import and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India; manufacture and sell its certified pre-owned iPhones in India,” the report quoted the application dated December 7.
Earlier, a similar proposition from Apple was turned down by the TRC. The company had sought permission to import 2.5 lakh iPads to explore the refurbished market in the country. The TRC had shot down the request saying that the move would add to India’s e-waste.
However, Cook concluded the meeting by playing down concerns about the declining iPhone sales by saying that iPhone was the greatest business of the future and Apple had room to grow with the smartphones for decades.