Tech giant Apple opened its first two stores in Mumbai and Delhi this week. While the over-enthusiastic crowd tells the story of dedicated Apple customers making a store opening event a huge success, the fact is that Indians show no less than half of the excitement for the local brands, especially when it comes to smartphones .
Talks about opening these two stores started on social media almost a week earlier. When the Apple team finally came to India, crowds gathered in front of the store and took selfies with CEO Tim Cook showing off their iPhones. A man also brought his vintage Macintosh model to the opening event.
Most of us have heard that India is a brand conscious country and it is not limited to just luxury clothes. Apple products, even iPhones, are quite expensive. But still, the company sold 2 million iPhones in India in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Some believe that some of the buyers are completely in love with the brand and therefore buy iPhones, while others who could have bought it just to show it off consider owning an iPhone a status symbol.
But there are several reasons that attract a specific segment of buyers. This includes better resale value, advanced product design, security and privacy, which is Apple’s main asset. iPhones are also said to have a range of processors that apparently provide better and smoother performance compared to Android phones.
Some users also buy iPhones because they last longer. Massive software updates every year is also a point to note. For example, iPhone 6s debuted in 2015 with iOS 9 and received software updates through 2021 with iOS 15. However, with iOS 16, Apple decided to end software support for the model.
Also, the reason why people buy such expensive phones may be due to the availability of simple EMI options. A few years ago, it was difficult for Indians to afford a phone worth Rs 70,000. But now, if they want, they can simply check out the EMI options on ecommerce sites and choose a tenure that suits them.
Still, the iPhone has yet to beat the popularity of Android in India. Market research revealed that the largest smartphone brands in India in Q4 2022 were Korean giant Samsung, followed by China’s Vivo, Xiaomi, Oppo and Realme. Of all these brands, Xiaomi almost lost its lead in the fourth quarter after five years, dropping to third place with 5.5 million shipments.
So there is a clear separation. While the majority belong to Android users in India, who currently hold one of these top market dominants, another portion of the buyers are with iPhones and other brands.
But this proves that Indians are less interested in local smartphone brands like Micromax, which overtook Samsung a few years ago but now has less than 1% market share, and also Lava, which recently refocused on the smartphone segment in a crowded market. There are also other Indian brands such as Karbonn, Xolo and Intex.
Some people have no interest in these Indian brands due to trust issues. People worry about these companies not spending enough on R&D, lack of features, quality issues, and not producing enough competitive devices. The focus was on making a cheaper phone while Indian buyers are willing to pay enough for a quality smartphone.
But now the hope is that the Indian brands can make a comeback with the help of the Production Linked Incentive Scheme. Lava and Bhagwati (Micromax) are among the domestic companies that received approval to manufacture mobile phones under the scheme, with the latter becoming the first company to receive a payout under the PLI scheme for mobile phones earlier this year. IT hardware.
So it is likely that these companies will significantly increase their production activity and then with aggressive pricing, as well as competing smartphones, they are expected to gain a better percentage of the market share.
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