Apple Inc is striving to expand in the Indian market, but industry experts noted that it will be difficult for Apple to catch up there with a group of Chinese mobile brands in the short term due to Chinese rivals' advantage in pricing.
Apple has finalized a shortlist of locations for its first retail store in India, in a bid to make its foray into the world's fastest-growing smartphone market and improve its business amid a loss of market share in China, reported Bloomberg on Wednesday.
Local consumers in India prefer more affordable quality Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and Vivo. But as Apple keeps losing market share in China, its CEO has made a commitment to improve sales in India, said the report.
"It is hard for a relatively high-end mobile brand like Apple to adjust its production strategy to deal with the relatively lower-level consumption market in India," Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based senior industry analyst, told the Global Times on Sunday. Lower production costs are still the main reason for giant manufacturers to move to India, Liu noted.
Even though it's the fastest-growing smartphone market, the consumption level in India still needs time to develop, and the relatively high-priced iPhone models can hardly beat Chinese mobile brands in the near future, Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, told the Global Times on Sunday.
In the first quarter of 2019, Chinese smartphone brands led by Xiaomi and Vivo held a dominant record 66 percent share of the Indian market, a Hong Kong-based industry analysis firm.
Apple's revenue in India is not disclosed separately by the company.
In the first quarter of this year, it was lumped together with the "rest of the Asia-Pacific" area, which accounted for only 6 percent of total revenue.