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Apple talking CDMA iPhone with two Indian wireless carriers

post #1 of 24
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Rumors that Apple is preparing to introduce an iPhone early next year capable of running on the networks of Verizon and other CDMA wireless providers continue to heat up, with the latest report placing the company in discussions with two CDMA-based operators in India.

Following its own leads, the Wall Street Journal said Tuesday that the Cupertino-based iPhone maker is in talks with both Reliance Communications Ltd. and Tata Teleservices Ltd. over offering the device to its customers at an undetermined time in the near future.

"Tata has been in talks with them [Apple] for four to five months now," one person familiar with the negotiations told the paper, while another added that the talks have "been going on as India is a big market for CDMA." However neither source was clear on a timetable for a launch.

The news comes on the heels of reports by both the Journal and New York Times that cited unnamed sources as saying Apple is prepping the assembly lines to begin churning out millions of CDMA-capable iPhones later this year for an introduction early next year.

By introducing an iPhone capable of transmitting data over code division multiple access (CDMA) technology, Apple could expand its addressable market for the iPhone by roughly 550 million users, according to the latest official statistics from the CDMA Development Group.

In India, the move would also afford the company access to more consumers in what's been the world's fastest growing wireless market for the past several years, where growth rates are seeing 18 million new users sign up each and every month. Of India's 670 million registered wireless subscribers, roughly 20% -- or 134 million -- are users of CDMA handsets.

The move could also help spur competition in the region, where the cheapest iPhone from Apple's existing partners -- Bharti AirTel Ltd. and Vodafone Essar Ltd. -- runs roughly $670 despite the fact that nearly half of the country's population earns less than $1.25 each day, according to the Journal. Both those mobile operators offer the current iPhone, which only supports flavors of the global system for mobile communications (GSM) technology.



As it stands, the Indian cell phone market remains one of the hardest to crack, with fierce competition from big names like Nokia, HTC, and Research in Motion in the smartphone sector. For instance, Apple's share of mobile subscribers during the first half of the year failed to crack the 1% barrier.

Analyst expect the smartphone sector of the Indian market to continue to trend upwards, hitting 38 million units by 2014, representing compound annualized growth rate of approximately 78% for the preceding five year period.
post #2 of 24
As much as i love Apple and iPhone, being from India, i can say that iPhone can never gain any market share with the current pricing.

The 670$ price is too much for a phone tied to one of the two carriers, however good they may be. Its cheaper to buy an unlocked iPhone from Canada or Hong Kong and have it shipped to you in India (Yes, i have really calculated the shipping cost).

Not to mention 3G in India has just started thanks to political system which stifled the spectrum auction for 2-3 years.

AirTel does provide the option to officially unlock our iPhone after 1 year which does not make sense because the new iPhone would already have been announced by that time.
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post #3 of 24
Somewhat of an aside, but that graph is really hard to read. I'm not color blind, but I can barely tell the difference between the dark colors at the top of the graph. It completely loses any effect that you want to make regarding the different regions. However, it does look very pretty.
post #4 of 24
More possibilities for Apple to grow if they're willing to build an iphone that can run on these CDMA networks. BTW Apple please don't delay bringing the iphone to T-Mobile USA (GSM) any longer, please!
post #5 of 24
So much for CDMA being non-existent outside of the US. Not only is the CDMA subscriber base in India about the same size as Verizon and Sprint combined, but I'm guessing it will take a long time before LTE, or any other newer standard, is deployed in India. This means any investment Apple makes in designing a CDMA iPhone would have a much longer useful life, despite what the LTE snobs would have us believe.

Hopefully the competition would also help bring down the price of the iPhone to a more affordable level.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

As much as i love Apple and iPhone, being from India, i can say that iPhone can never gain any market share with the current pricing.

Price is an issue (especially when you compare to the average salary) but as you noted in the rest of your post the lack of sufficient 3G coverage makes it a hard sell, too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Quevar View Post

Somewhat of an aside, but that graph is really hard to read. I'm not color blind, but I can barely tell the difference between the dark colors at the top of the graph. It completely loses any effect that you want to make regarding the different regions. However, it does look very pretty.

I agree. I think Africa is the largest section but I am not 100% sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroG View Post

BTW Apple please don't delay bringing the iphone to T-Mobile USA (GSM) any longer, please!

As of the FCC filing for the iPhone 4 it has a UMTS penta-band chip but the unannounced frequency range is for NTT DoCoMos network in Japan, not for T-Mobile USA. Hopefully the next iPhone will get 6 bands and T-Mobile USA will be a go, as well as factory unlocked phones but Im not holding my breath.

PS: Did you see AnandTechs review of the new T-Mobile G2s speeds with a 14.4Mb/s HSPDA and 5.76Mb/s HSUPA radios. Pretty nice results.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3967/t...ile-g2-preview
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

So much for CDMA being non-existent outside of the US. Not only is the CDMA subscriber base in India about the same size as Verizon and Sprint combined, but I'm guessing it will take a long time before LTE, or any other newer standard, is deployed in India. This means any investment Apple makes in designing a CDMA iPhone would have a much longer useful life, despite what the LTE snobs would have us believe.

Hopefully the competition would also help bring down the price of the iPhone to a more affordable level.

I dont many claimed that CDMA was non-existent, just that GSM/UMTS was much more common and that CDMA/EV-DO was be obsoleted as networks move from CDMA 2G to UMTS 3G or CDMA/EV-DO 3G to LTE ≈4G.

Its easy to find that its prevalent in the world and will be so for decades. In the US, CDMA will still be the voice channel even after LTE covers Verizons current network area.

What should be noted is that having the same number of subscribers is not the same as having the same potential market for an item like the iPhone.

Note these two lines from the article.
Of India's 670 million registered wireless subscribers, roughly 20% -- or 134 million -- are users of CDMA handsets.

[]

Analyst expect the smartphone sector of the Indian market to continue to trend upwards, hitting 38 million units by 2014, representing compound annualized growth rate of approximately 78% for the preceding five year period.
Thats out of a current 670,000,000 subscribers and they only expect 38,000,000 to be using smartphones in 4 years. Thats a considerably lower number than the US which makes the iPhone on T-Mobiles 30M subs likely to get more sales than all of India.
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post #7 of 24
How's this for rank rumor - tired of Verizon's "tepid" responses to whether iPhone is coming to their line up ("its up to Apple" - basically Apple won't bend over for our monkeying with their OS and demand to feature Vcast), then why not sell CDMA phones to every other potential carrier out there so that Verizon's own customers lead the uprising for Apple. If they don't, then Apple knows it wasn't going to make headway against Android on Verizon. If the customers storm the Verizon castle in rage over "why not us" then Apple wins (again).
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post

As much as i love Apple and iPhone, being from India, i can say that iPhone can never gain any market share with the current pricing.

The 670$ price is too much for a phone tied to one of the two carriers, however good they may be. Its cheaper to buy an unlocked iPhone from Canada or Hong Kong and have it shipped to you in India (Yes, i have really calculated the shipping cost).

Not to mention 3G in India has just started thanks to political system which stifled the spectrum auction for 2-3 years.

AirTel does provide the option to officially unlock our iPhone after 1 year which does not make sense because the new iPhone would already have been announced by that time.

I do not buy (no pun intended) the price argument. I see expensive luxury brands advertised in India all the time: BMW, Sony Bravia TVs, Sony Vaio, luxury watches, jewelry, etc.

It's Apple's own damn fault that their market performance in India is so pathetic: Apple has done virtually no advertising in India and they haven't educated Indian sales staff on Apple products. The reason Apple's sales in India is so poor because they've put almost no effort into actually selling anything in India. Simply dropping a shipment of product at a retailer and walking away is not selling.
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post #9 of 24
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I do not buy (no pun intended) the price argument. I see expensive luxury brands advertised in India all the time: BMW, Sony Bravia TVs, Sony Vaio, luxury watches, jewelry, etc.

Hes not saying that there is no market for luxury brands, hes saying that the market is comparatively low. Thats absolutely true of India, though it is changing. In the US even people below the poverty line can easily afford an iPhone. That is not the case with most countries.
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post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

He’s not saying that there is no market for luxury brands, he’s saying that the market is comparatively low. That’s absolutely true of India, though it is changing. In the US even people below the “poverty” line can easily afford an iPhone. That is not the case with most countries.

I still contend that if Apple put as much effort into making an actual presence in India as, say, BMW, Porsche, Skoda, Sony, Kohler, etc. I think they'd do reasonably well. Indians like "cool" products, and seriously, what's cooler than Apple?

I'm simply saying that the market will definitely be low if no energy is put into marketing.

For comparison: Switzerland, which has a population of less than 8 million, has three Apple Retails Stores; India has a population of over a billion, and no Apple Retail Stores. I think four or five stores—with properly trained staff—in India's major cities (Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi) would see significant traffic. I'm certain that at least 1% of India's population (still over 10,000,000) would be able to afford Apple products.
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post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quevar View Post

Somewhat of an aside, but that graph is really hard to read. I'm not color blind, but I can barely tell the difference between the dark colors at the top of the graph. It completely loses any effect that you want to make regarding the different regions. However, it does look very pretty.

I teach statistics, and I'm going to use this graphic in my class as an example of BAD barchart design. I can't really understand one of this article's important points, and this barchart makes it worse.

Can someone tell me exactly which shade of green represents India? I think, after about 15 minutes of inspection, I've figured out that it is the largest (bottom) bar in each year. But only by getting out my magnifying glass (hey, I'm getting older, but puhleeeze, a MAGNIFYING glass??) can I see that there really (?) are six bars in the 2010 column. Since the shades of green are not stacked in each bar in the same order as they appear in the legend, I can't be sure that the biggest bar really is "Asia Pacific" (which presumably includes India, even though it's not on the Pacific; I think it should read "Asia & Pacific", by analogy with "Caribbean & Latin America")... I could go on and on (was it really less than zero in 2001?), and in class I will (why bother with the shadows?), but for the purposes of this posting, let me point out that this graphic is apparently from a CDMA trade group, not AppleInsider. There's an asterisk in the chart which apparently doesn't link to anything in the article. And I presume that AppleInsider's spellchecker would have caught the "JUne 2010" typo if it were not a bitmap.

With a trade group so incompetent, is it any wonder that CDMA is struggling? Well, I'm probably being waaaaay too judgmental here, but that IS the thought that crossed my mind. Bad graphics leave a bad impression. Just because you CAN add a tabletop reflection to your graphic by checking a box, does this mean you SHOULD? (That's not the CDMA's problem here, but... are you listening, Apple video chat engineers? No? Sigh... )
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I still contend that if Apple put as much effort into making an actual presence in India as, say, BMW, Porsche, Skoda, Sony, Kohler, etc. I think they'd do reasonably well. Indians like "cool" products, and seriously, what's cooler than Apple?

I'm simply saying that the market will definitely be low if no energy is put into marketing.

You say these other brands have a strong presence, but how much profit or revenue do those companies make from India compared to the US? How much is that per capita?

See where Im going with this? There are certainly people who buy these products and you used to be able to find Nokia stores and other shops selling very expensive handsets; even surpassing the iPhone by hundreds of US dollars, but that doesnt mean these are common good for the average Indian.

As previously stated, Indias middle class is rising and just like in China well see growth in this relatively low-cost luxury items, but I doubt Apples lowered sales is because of a lack of excessive marketing. Luxury items have the benefit of marketing themselves, to an extent, because they are luxury items.

PS: How do I know Indias middle class is on the rise? McDonalds entry into the country.
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post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dksmidtx View Post

How's this for rank rumor - tired of Verizon's "tepid" responses to whether iPhone is coming to their line up ("its up to Apple" - basically Apple won't bend over for our monkeying with their OS and demand to feature Vcast), then why not sell CDMA phones to every other potential carrier out there so that Verizon's own customers lead the uprising for Apple. If they don't, then Apple knows it wasn't going to make headway against Android on Verizon. If the customers storm the Verizon castle in rage over "why not us" then Apple wins (again).

So what do you think Apple would do if Verizon's response wasn't tepid? If Verizon said: "Yep, we're getting the iPhone in January." What has happened to other Apple partners who jumped the gun on Steve's announcements? If anything these so-called tepid, non-denial denials are further evidence of an early 2011 iPhone on Verizon.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quevar View Post

Somewhat of an aside, but that graph is really hard to read. I'm not color blind, but I can barely tell the difference between the dark colors at the top of the graph. It completely loses any effect that you want to make regarding the different regions. However, it does look very pretty.

Agree.

It is hard to tell but I think this is the breakdown of the last column (Jun-10) Asia Pacific being the the bottom segment.

Africa
Middle East
Europe
Caribbean & Latin America
North America
Asia Pacific

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post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quevar View Post

Somewhat of an aside, but that graph is really hard to read.

They're "going green"
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post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You say these other brands have a strong presence, but how much profit or revenue do those companies make from India compared to the US? How much is that per capita?

As previously stated, Indias middle class is rising and just like in China well see growth in this relatively low-cost luxury items, but I doubt Apples lowered sales is because of a lack of excessive marketing. Luxury items have the benefit of marketing themselves, to an extent, because they are luxury items.

PS: How do I know Indias middle class is on the rise? McDonalds entry into the country.

Well, my point is, that it's not even a lack of "excess" marketing. It's a lack of any marketing by Apple. It's a pretty fundamental concept that you can't sell a product if no one knows anything about your product. I'm sure BMW sells fewer cars in India than in the US. But they at least sell a fewat least in part because they actually advertise in India.

I'm not expecting Mac Pros in every village household. But Apple could target iMacs and iPhones to the market segment that is regularly (and successfully, I might add) targeted by Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Dell.
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post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Price is an issue (especially when you compare to the average salary) but as you noted in the rest of your post the lack of sufficient 3G coverage makes it a hard sell, too.



I agree. I think Africa is the largest section but I am not 100% sure.



As of the FCC filing for the iPhone 4 it has a UMTS penta-band chip but the unannounced frequency range is for NTT DoCoMos network in Japan, not for T-Mobile USA. Hopefully the next iPhone will get 6 bands and T-Mobile USA will be a go, as well as factory unlocked phones but Im not holding my breath.

PS: Did you see AnandTechs review of the new T-Mobile G2s speeds with a 14.4Mb/s HSPDA and 5.76Mb/s HSUPA radios. Pretty nice results.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3967/t...ile-g2-preview

I dont many claimed that CDMA was non-existent, just that GSM/UMTS was much more common and that CDMA/EV-DO was be obsoleted as networks move from CDMA 2G to UMTS 3G or CDMA/EV-DO 3G to LTE ≈4G.

Its easy to find that its prevalent in the world and will be so for decades. In the US, CDMA will still be the voice channel even after LTE covers Verizons current network area.

What should be noted is that having the same number of subscribers is not the same as having the same potential market for an item like the iPhone.

Note these two lines from the article.
Of India's 670 million registered wireless subscribers, roughly 20% -- or 134 million -- are users of CDMA handsets.

[]

Analyst expect the smartphone sector of the Indian market to continue to trend upwards, hitting 38 million units by 2014, representing compound annualized growth rate of approximately 78% for the preceding five year period.
Thats out of a current 670,000,000 subscribers and they only expect 38,000,000 to be using smartphones in 4 years. Thats a considerably lower number than the US which makes the iPhone on T-Mobiles 30M subs likely to get more sales than all of India.

That will be when it is sold at $670 a phone. That's way too expensive, and that's why it is an instafail, had that been brought down to the $200 mark (which most of the CDMA providers can do by selling the phone + service) it might be possible to grow potentially. The way GSM handsets are sold is independent of carrier and that is the reason why it is difficult for people to digest a phone+service because nokia made the market like this.

And more interestingly Google has started focusing a lot into this market which might help people to drop their junk nokia phones and have the feel of a smartphone around the $200 range.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You say these other brands have a strong presence, but how much profit or revenue do those companies make from India compared to the US? How much is that per capita?

See where Im going with this? There are certainly people who buy these products and you used to be able to find Nokia stores and other shops selling very expensive handsets; even surpassing the iPhone by hundreds of US dollars, but that doesnt mean these are common good for the average Indian.

As previously stated, Indias middle class is rising and just like in China well see growth in this relatively low-cost luxury items, but I doubt Apples lowered sales is because of a lack of excessive marketing. Luxury items have the benefit of marketing themselves, to an extent, because they are luxury items.

PS: How do I know Indias middle class is on the rise? McDonalds entry into the country.

Nokia has 100's retail store per every city in india . And, $200 phone is with 5-6 out 10 person now. Secondly, apple's sales figure where different for iphone when it was sold at $500+ price tag v/s the subsidized ones.

Apple's stance just helps the middle agents to sell stuff from US to india.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

Well, my point is, that it's not even a lack of "excess" marketing. It's a lack of any marketing by Apple. It's a pretty fundamental concept that you can't sell a product if no one knows anything about your product. I'm sure BMW sells fewer cars in India than in the US. But they at least sell a fewat least in part because they actually advertise in India.

I'm not expecting Mac Pros in every village household. But Apple could target iMacs and iPhones to the market segment that is regularly (and successfully, I might add) targeted by Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Dell.

Not only that the most common laptops are the one the price range of a Macbook pro 13" or Macbook and still no one buys it Because, on an average people don't know that there exist a OS called Mac OS X and virtually anything that is not Windows can't be used. Microsoft, HP, Sony advertises hence people know about them. With 0 advertisement how is anybody going to know about a product.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

Well, my point is, that it's not even a lack of "excess" marketing. It's a lack of any marketing by Apple. It's a pretty fundamental concept that you can't sell a product if no one knows anything about your product. I'm sure BMW sells fewer cars in India than in the US. But they at least sell a few—at least in part because they actually advertise in India.

I'm not expecting Mac Pros in every village household. But Apple could target iMacs and iPhones to the market segment that is regularly (and successfully, I might add) targeted by Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Dell.

Living in India, I know and agree that Apple do not market their products in India, but Apple do have this aura in Indians has been top of class in laptops,phones etc. Majority of Indians would love to own an apple product, since he it seems as iconic symbol, but it is in premium price range.

As for the cost of iPhone, the person forgot to mention that Indian's telecommunication companies do not offer lock-in contracts for 2 years, it was tried and failed. The scenario is Indian population want freedom to change carriers, when their want and would prefer to buy their phones out right.

Smart phones in India have a luxury tax of approx. 36% at customs on top of the full price, so reason for higher price of previous 16Gb 3GS at USD$670, since iPhone 4 has not officially been launched but the 16Gb Iphone unlocked sells for USD$844 and 32Gb USD$955. The margins being made is not very much believe me and again its all to do with volume.

AS for the comment concerning McDonalds that has nothing to do with Middle Class, since burger costs less than USD$1 and there only Veg or Chicken burgers and it of less quality then US. McDonalds prices caters for all classess except for very poor, everyone eats in McDonalds and KFC. In Powai there have been many food chains being launched, PaPa Johns, Subway, Chilies, etc. That tells you more about the Middle Class then McDonalds.
post #22 of 24
If it's true that Indians frequently change carriers then a CDMA-only iPhone may not help Apple much because the phone would be incompatible with all the GSM carriers. I don't think they will truly crack the Indian market until the iPhone works on both GSM and CDMA networks.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

If it's true that Indians frequently change carriers then a CDMA-only iPhone may not help Apple much because the phone would be incompatible with all the GSM carriers. I don't think they will truly crack the Indian market until the iPhone works on both GSM and CDMA networks.

Then how did the CDMA carriers in India get 134 million customers? I don't think they've been selling phones with GSM capabilities, but maybe I'm wrong.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Then how did the CDMA carriers in India get 134 million customers? I don't think they've been selling phones with GSM capabilities, but maybe I'm wrong.

Just remember other 80% or over 400 Million using GSM is nice market to get your teeth into. Btw The GSM subscription base is more than population of USA..
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