APPLE has lost a trio of pivotal executives in India.
In recent weeks as it struggles to boost iPhone sales in the world’s fastest-growing major smartphone market, people familiar with the matter say.
Apple’s Indian sales team is now undergoing a restructuring, one of the people said.
The executive of Apple’s persistent malaise in India, where the price tags of imported gadgets .
The iPhone and consumers gravitate toward cheaper alternatives from the likes of Xiaomi and Samsung .
Instead, the company resorts to marketing iPhones that are a few generations old and doesn’t manufacture its latest models domestically. Thereby incurring import levies.
Caught up in those challenges is Michel Coulomb, who took over as head of Indian operations in December 2017.
While Coulomb has rich experience in carrier-led sales, his team has been slow to cultivate business relationships in the market, the people said.
Apple’s also had difficulties understanding the country, leaving the sales team direction-less, they said.
The company’s representatives in India didn’t respond to emailed questions.
Apple Failure In India
Apple’s failure to get going in India compounds its troubles elsewhere in Asia – the IPHONE X for instance has been a disappointment in China.
In India, where it has a market share of about 2 percent, Apple sold just 3.2 million iPhones in 2017
According to Counterpoint Research, In the first half of 2018, fewer than a million devices moved, it estimates.
“iPhone India sales were weak in the first half of 2018 and, even if they show a big jump in the traditionally strong second half.
Apple will still fall short of last year,” said Neil Shah, a research director with Counterpoint.
Cook has suggested India could be the next China, which is now Apple’s second largest market.
While the iPhone’s price tag puts it out of reach for most.
The CEO has predicted that young, aspiring Indians moving up the socio-economic ladder would increasingly look to upgrade.
In May this year, he said on a conference call with investors that India had set a new first-half sales record.
The world’s most valuable company has stepped up its activity of late to assemble some of its older models in the country.
But it needs to do more, Shah said.
“It has not put great focus or investments into India because the market is so minuscule,” said Shah.
The inattention could send more users to Android phones, making it difficult for Apple to build a user base and win loyalty. “It’s a Catch-22 situation for App.