During April's Conference Call, Apple's CEO noted that sales in India had jumped 55% and during their most recent Conference Call Cook stated that "In the BRIC countries (Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa) the iPad did extremely well. The growth was very high." In mid-July we reported on how Apple's premium smartphones are outselling Samsung's by more than Two to One in India. Yet where Apple is beginning to make their mark in India is with their older iPhone models. Their success in India has carved out a new business model that is being carried over to the other BRIC counties successfully. While the iPhone models that they're selling are older, they still offer cachet at affordable prices.
One of the lines in a new Bloomberg report is a knockout. They quote Punit Mathur, a 42-year-old vice president of a digital media company who recently switched to a new iPhone 4s from a Nexus 4. Mathur stated that "You flaunt an iPhone, but you don't flaunt an Android." Yes, the power of a great brand carries a lot of weight.
This was echoed by Katyayan Gupta, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in New Delhi who told Bloomberg, "Apple has started to understand India is a more price-sensitive market. Indians want to show their status, so people want Apple. It doesn't matter if it's a two-year-old phone. It's an Apple at the end of the day."
Sathish Babu, founder of UniverCell, an electronics retail chain in South India, said he received an iPhone 4 shipment manufactured in January – so "It's not old stock." It's not old inventory that Apple is pawning off here, they're newly manufactured models specifically for BRIC countries.
Apple's CEO has said on many occasions that selling their older iPhone models in emerging markets was a way to build mind-share and bring new customers into the into their ecosystem and to use iTunes and hopefully overtime win them over to buy future Apple products.
Apple's approach in India has helped it build traction in a country where 225 million smartphones will be sold this year. For more on this story, see Bloomberg's report.
Side Note: John Gruber noted on his site yesterday: "That’s one quote from one guy, and I’m sure there are literally millions of Indian mobile phone buyers who have no desire to “flaunt” an iPhone, who genuinely prefer Android, etc. But there are millions of people who do see the iPhone — even older ones — as carrying a prestige."
Wow, such insight. In a country with 1.237 Billion people, there's actually millions who prefer the Android and have no desire to flaunt an iPhone. Geez, the sarcastic wisdom we can't live without. Ha! Yes, "the iPhone - even older ones - as carrying a prestige." I guess that means that there are more that will "flaunt" the iPhone as was expressed in the original report.