Headline, May 20 2022/ ''' '' APPLE'S * INDIAN APPLAUSE '' '''


 APPLAUSE '' '''

APPLE OPENS FIRST STORE IN INDIA : A PROMISING FRONTIER. Tech giant looks to expand market share and shift some production there.

'' It's simple : For me, it's a status symbol,'' said Subodh Sharma, who earns 25,000 rupees per month working for a construction company. ''The message that goes out to the peer and society is that, look, this person is not totally third-class,'' he said, glancing at the iPhone tucked into his shirt pocket.

TIM COOK - THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF APPLE - VISITED India recently to open the company's first two Apple stores there : The biggest public company in the world in the world's most populous country.

Roaring crowds of would-be customers greeted him in Mumbai at a sleek glass-and-timber flatiron of a storefront called Apple BKC, in the Bandra Kurla Complex. Then later, Mr. Cook planned to travel to New Delhi to open a second store, Apple Saket, inside the capital's biggest mall.

The Apple brand is not new to India. But for the past 25 years Apple has relied solely on third-party sellers to get its products into the hands of Indian consumers.

The iPhone is still a rare sight in the ocean of cheaper, and mostly Chinese-branded, Android smartphones that have swept across India over the past decade. Yet, as in nearly every other part of the world, Apple has its fans in India.

AND in Delhi are eager customers like Amar Bhasin, 41, whose first cellphone, bought 18 years ago, was a Panasonic.

More recently, he bought an iPad from an Indian outlet, only to discover that its screen was cracked. The store refused to exchange it, and local service centers weren't helpful. So Mr. Bhasin addressed a letter to Mr. Cook himself - and a month later, a new iPad appeared in the mail.

'' I felt so good and became an Apple fan instantly -who does that?'' Mr. Bhasin said, standing before the still shrouded Apple Saket. ''I don't see myself buying another brand in the foreseeable future.''

India is an important frontier for Apple. It was by far the biggest country to lack an outlet bearing its own brand. Some much smaller countries have multiple Apple stores : Switzerland has four, and even Macau, a Chinese territory with a population of 680,000, or 0.5 percent of India, has two.

But those places are something India is not : rich. Even the lower - to middle income countries with App stores such as Brazil, Thailand and Turkey, have per capita incomes several times higher than India's.

In a potential market so big, Apple does not need to make much of a dent to earn back its investments. The company's market share in India has been growing rapidly. The iPhone 13 is the best selling model in the premium segment, which includes phones that cost above 30,000 rupees, or $365.

Last year, only 11 percent of the market was considered premium, but it was the fastest growing segment.

THE CHINESE SMARTPHONE maker Xiaomi sold the most phones in total, and the South-Korean giant Samsung, which competes at different price points, had the highest value of sales, according to Counterpoint Research.

But Apple faces a consumer-pricing puzzle in India. Unlike a McDonald's, for example, Apple's signature products need to sell for roughly the same price everywhere [or else they would fly around the world, unlocked on the black market].

But the difference between marketing utility goods and luxury products becomes jumbled in the Indian context. In the Saket mall, called Select CityWalk, a bubble of air-conditioning and chromed shop fronts are across the road from a medieval warren; the Apple store is opposite at Krispy Kreme. Outposts of Channel and Van Heusen are nearby.

Price hits differently in a country where the top 10 percent income bracket begins at 25,000 rupees, or $304 per month - well under half the cost of a new iPhone.

For many millions of wealthy Indians, that is perfectly acceptable. And even for those whom it stretches, it can be a price worth paying.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Apple, and Xiaomi continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Alex Travelli and Suhasini Raj.

With most respectful dedication to the Master Cell Phone Makers, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See you all prepare for Great Global Elections on !WOW! - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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