In our April report titled "A Few Extra Tidbits Emerge from Apple's Conference Call," we noted that CEO Tim Cook made the point that Apple's growth in emerging markets was strong with Brazil being up 61%, Russia up 97%, Turkey up 56%, India up 55% and Vietnam up a crazy 262%. Cook had added that the iPhone 4S drew in new user ratios in the 80 percent range in some markets. "If we can get them in on the entry iPhone, it gives them a great product at a great value and gets them into the ecosystem." The iPhone 4S was the entry point that was most popular, despite Apple relaunching the iPhone 4 in India four months earlier to stimulate sales. Today, a new report out of India states that Apple has now officially dropped the production of the iPhone 4.
Three of Apple's leading trade partners in India have confirmed that "fresh supplies of the iPhone 4 in India have stopped in the past two weeks and the company has already indicated to its trade partners that it won't be taking fresh orders for the model."
Apple had decided to resume production of iPhone 4 to compete harder in markets such as India, Brazil and China. But it now appears that the iPhone 4S has emerged as Apple's new entry point in emerging markets.
In fact, Apple's Indian trade partners agreed that the iPhone 4S has emerged as the firm's top-selling phone. Himanshu Chakrawarti, CEO of "The Mobile Store," India's largest cellphone retail chain, stated that "Since the buyback offer, retailers said iPhone 4S sales have doubled in India.
Sathish Babu, founder of cellphone retail chain UniverCell Telecommunications, referring to the buyback offer, confirmed that "It's been a tactical move by Apple whereby consumers are willing to pay a little more for a newer model."
Despite Apple's sales growing 55% last quarter, Apple still has a long way to go to be a real player in that market. The report noted that Apple was ranked sixth in India. According to CyberMedia, Apple's volume market share in the Indian smartphone market in the January-March quarter was 2.4%. Samsung was number one 38.9% followed by Micromax at 19.1%, Karbonn at 6.9%, Sathish Babu, founder of cellphone retail chain UniverCell Telecommunications, referring to the buyback offer Lava at 6.1% and Nokia (now Microsoft) at 5.3%.
Then again, you have to wonder if CyberMedia is including "mobile phones" in their statistical mix as was the case with IDC's latest funny numbers.