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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Needs Years to Win Against Google in India

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone India

Apple Inc. is in trouble. China is full of smartphones, and the firm needs to look elsewhere for growth. India has a growing demand for smartphones, but  all the tech majors – Apple Inc. , Google Inc , Xiaomi and Microsoft – have turned towards the country for the next phase of growth.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone India

With its high prices, and the lack of carrier subsidies in the country, Apple is out in the cold.

‘Make in India’ a new focus for Apple and others

By 2017 India is set to become the world’s 2nd largest smartphone market beating the U.S. At an event in India on August 10, Xiaomi announced it would start making phones in India for sales in the country.

The devices will be made in partnership with Foxconn, which is a major Apple supplier, and a few days back announced a big investment to build new manufacturing facilities in India. Search giant Google  has plans to make and sell Android devices priced under $50 under a project named Android One, said a FT report on Monday.

Apple too is now shifting its focus on India, which used to be a low-priority market for it earlier, but after the iPhone sales growth of 93% in India in the Q3, it is now trying very to make a bigger place in the Indian market as indicated by a Reuters story in late July.

Apple has expanded its marketing efforts and entered into more distribution deals to expand its reach in the region. A senior executive has been hired by the firm for taking charge of the Indian market alone.

Working on govt. projects

India is also at the top of Microsoft’s list of emerging markets for luring low-end users towards the Windows Phone. The tech firm is also working with the Indian govt. in Digital India campaign. The US firm will be its Azure, Dynamics and Office 365 to connect the people with the world across.

Another US tech giant, Intel is working with the Indian govt’s Clean Ganga’ initiatives pilot project. The chip maker will provide sensors for collecting info for the project. “India is a very important market for us, from R&D point of view too, as teams here works on every category from servers to PCs to IoT,” said Kumud Srinivasan, Intel President India, told reports recently. Intel’s Indian unit is the 3rd largest after the U.S. and Israel.

So far, none of these firms has been able to lock this market, but the stakes are big, and a win in the market could really make fortunes for these tech firms. One thing if for sure that India and its consumers will benefit from this new trend.

Apple , which had quite a lot of support in its race to take China, will face big competition as it tries to break into the Indian market. Growth in the country is far from what Apple saw in China, and the low end of the device market, which Google is aiming for strongly, will likely see the most growth in the coming years.

India, as a whole, has the same GDP as the continent of Africa. Inequality is rife, and demand for phones that cost more than $600 is low. Google is likely to be the victor in the first round, but Apple, as it did in China, might pick up the pieces as growth continues down the line.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.

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