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Price war breaks out between Apple and Samsung in India

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
Apple and Samsung are locked in a price war in India, with each company handing out discounts on its smartphones in a bid to draw customers in one of the world's largest developing smartphone markets.

india


The pricing struggle between the two tech giants is said to have kicked off with Apple's decision in early April to give a discount to any customers trading in an older smartphone for Apple's iPhone 4. Trade-in customers now receive a cash discount of at least 7,000 rupees ($128) toward the purchase of an iPhone 4, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Samsung soon countered Apple's move, offering 15 percent cash back for consumers buying a Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Grand, or Galaxy tablet. That offer was in conjunction with a prior offer allowing customers to buy those devices on a 12-month, interest-free installment plan.

As the world's second-most populous country, India represents a tremendous market opportunity for both companies. Apple's standard premium pricing structure, though, has presented some obstacles to wider adoption of the company's wares.

To address the issue, Apple recently introduced payment plans for Indian consumers, a decision that led to a threefold increase in the company's sales in the country. Apple is also said to be planning to triple its operations in India by 2015 in recognition of the importance of the market.

Apple's iPhone has moved into second place in the Indian smartphone market, holding a 15.6 percent revenue share. That's a distant second, though, to Samsung's hold on the market. Offering a wide range of handsets at an array of price points has allowed Samsung to grab 38.8 percent of the revenue in India's growing smartphone market.

Since mobile providers in India do not subsidize the cost of smartphones, Apple is faced with a difficult situation in the country. The company's flagship iPhone 5 sells for 45,500 rupees, while Samsung's Galaxy Grand is available for 21,500 rupees.

Industry observers expect that Apple will have to address the issue further by introducing a lower-cost iPhone in the near future. The current low-cost iPhone 4, they say, is just a stopgap measure that allows Apple to build a presence while clearing inventory of older models.
post #2 of 81

45,500 Rupees is $840 - a 30% mark-up on the US price. The first thing that Apple could do is maybe lower its Indian prices a little?

post #3 of 81
This backs up earlier comments about Apple wanting to make a less expensive model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

45,500 Rupees is $840 - a 30% mark-up on the US price. The first thing that Apple could do is maybe lower its Indian prices a little?

It's not a mark up. There are additional per unit costs that affect the pricing.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #4 of 81

Ugh, bring back the Apple flag; can't stand faux glossy. 1tongue.gif

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #5 of 81
Apple is falling into the same trap it did in Australia and other places with pricing where they rip off the public by charging more than they do in the US. This is terrible customer relations as everyone knows and are really offended by it. This is the reason also why everyone outside the US has a US iTunes account.
post #6 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It's not a mark up. There are additional per unit costs that affect the pricing.

 

This is India. The place where everyone outsources to because it's so cheap to do business. Wages are low, the country borders China and one of the official languages is English. Lower prices will increase volume, which in turn will make doing business in India more efficient. It's a virtuous circle.

post #7 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

This is India. The place where everyone outsources to because it's so cheap to do business. Wages are low, the country borders China and one of the official languages is English. Lower prices will increase volume, which in turn will make doing business in India more efficient. It's a virtuous circle.

1) The average wage being low has no barring on what it costs to get an iPhone to a shop to sell.

2) You need to include taxes for importation, costs for the complex line of distribution from Apple to the local independent vendor, etc. To say that Apple is just marking it up isn't even close to a realistic assessment of retail price in India.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #8 of 81

I already mentioned this story last week on this forum.

 

Apple came out with a new pricing model in India, and Samsung, being the apes that they are, instantly aped Apple's move.

 

As for India, I still don't think that Apple should play along in the race to the bottom game, as Apple will not win that game. India is also the country where they make tablets that sell for about $40.

 

Apple should just continue to make good phones, and those Indians who can afford them will buy them, and those who can't can take a hike.

post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

45,500 Rupees is $840 - a 30% mark-up on the US price. The first thing that Apple could do is maybe lower its Indian prices a little?

RichL clearly doesn't understand that the market in India is fundamentally different than the U.S.. Foreign companies are not allowed to own stores or sell merchandise directly and must go through (often numerable) second-hand salesmen who all take a cut.  I'm sure Apple is selling them at the lowest price they deem reasonable, perhaps even making less (a mark-down) than in other countries.

post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I already mentioned this story last week on this forum.

Apple came out with a new pricing model in India, and Samsung, being the apes that they are, instantly aped Apple's move.

As for India, I still don't think that Apple should play along in the race to the bottom game, as Apple will not win that game. India is also the country where they make tablets that sell for about $40.

Apple should just continue to make good phones, and those Indians who can afford them will buy them, and those who can't can take a hike.

1) Your disdain for anyone less fortunate than you is awful.

2) There is nothing wrong with a company adjusting their prices to better compete. Apple has certainly done just that with the iPod because of the 2nd(?) gen Zune.

3) Apple usually doesn't need to lower prices because they already have the lowest equatable price points within each receptive categoruy, save for the iPhone which they have been able to ask higher than their average margins due to the competition being woefully behind in many important areas.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


1) Your disdain for anyone less fortunate than you is awful.

2) There is nothing wrong with a company adjusting their prices to better compete. Apple has certainly done just that with the iPod because of the 2nd(?) gen Zune.

3) Apple usually doesn't need to lower prices because they already have the lowest equatable price points within each receptive categoruy, save for the iPhone which they have been able to ask higher than their average margins due to the competition being woefully behind in many important areas.

(1) Not at all. We're talking business here, not charity. And it is foolish to try and go after customers who have no money. At some point, you just have to draw a line in the sand.

 

(2) That depends. Look at Apple's stock price. People keep talking about Apple's shrinking margins. Do you think that those margins will continue to shrink or will they grow if Apple keeps making things cheaper?

post #12 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

45,500 Rupees is $840 - a 30% mark-up on the US price. The first thing that Apple could do is maybe lower its Indian prices a little?

It's $650 US, but the import tax to india has been killing it's pricing. They were building some facilities w/foxcon there I understand to get around the import tax.. 

post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

(1) Not at all. We're talking business here, not charity. And it is foolish to try and go after customers who have no money. At some point, you just have to draw a line in the sand.

Telling people to "take a hike" because they are poor doesn't sound businessy to me.
Quote:
(2) That depends. Look at Apple's stock price. People keep talking about Apple's shrinking margins. Do you think that those margins will continue to shrink or will they grow if Apple keeps making things cheaper?

A lower cost product doesn't mean that margins go down. It's a percentage. Often you will see companies make a larger margin on the lower end of the market than on the high end, but still take in more profit on the high end. A company could find a method to reduce costs thus increasing margins across the board. All that matters is the profit. If you can more profit with lower margins they by all means do it.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Telling people to "take a hike" because they are poor doesn't sound businessy to me.

 

I don't have to sound businessy, as I'm not trying to court any customers. On the contrary, Apple should be more selective in choosing potential customers and potential markets to go after. It is debatable if it is a good idea for Apple to listen to all of the analysts and talking heads, and to release a cheap phone, just because certain people are crying out for one and they like to throw around dumb catch words like "developing markets". Developing markets my ass. It sounds like bad business strategy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

A lower cost product doesn't mean that margins go down. It's a percentage. Often you will see companies make a larger margin on the lower end of the market than on the high end, but still take in more profit on the high end. A company could find a method to reduce costs thus increasing margins across the board. All that matters is the profit. If you can more profit with lower margins they by all means do it.

Maybe Apple can do like some others do, and sell at cost or even below cost. I'm sure that they'll make it all up in volume. What's the end game here? To sell as many phones as possible to everybody in the world? If that's the case, then Apple's current strategy is not a good one. You have to practically give your shit away for free, if maximum penetration is the goal. And judging by how conservative Apple is, maximum penetration is probably a banned word at Apple HQ.

post #15 of 81
I question the iPhone having more than 1 to 2% smartphone market share in India. I just don't see any indication of Apple doing well in India.
post #16 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Apple should be more selective in choosing potential customers and potential markets to go after. […] Developing markets my ass. It sounds like bad business strategy.

And their Apple Stores should have different doors for different types of people¡
Quote:
Maybe Apple can do like some others do, and sell at cost or even below cost. I'm sure that they'll make it all up in volume. What's the end game here? To sell as many phones as possible to everybody in the world? If that's the case, then Apple's current strategy is not a good one. You have to practically give your shit away for free, if maximum penetration is the goal. And judging by how conservative Apple is, maximum penetration is probably a banned word at Apple HQ.

So you've jumped from the well known fact that Apple has lowered their profit margins to Apple should just sell it at or below cost? Can you seriously be that blind to how business works? I'll restart it again, the goal is to maximize profits. It's a pretty fucking simple concept.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

A lower cost product doesn't mean that margins go down. It's a percentage.All that matters is the profit.

 

Often you will see companies make a larger margin on the lower end of the market than on the high end,

 

When have you seen this in the phone industry? 

 

 A company could find a method to reduce costs thus increasing margins across the board.

 

Really? As if companies don't have teams of people looking to do this all the time? They are the bean counters and they constantly look to cut costs. 

 

 If you can more profit with lower margins they by all means do it.

 

And if you can't, as Samsung and others can't, then sell higher margin products and be the second largest company in the world with $140 Billion dollars in cash. 

post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 It's a pretty fucking simple concept.

Obviously it is not as Apple seems to be doing that day in and day out. Year in and year out and you still want them to change. 

post #19 of 81

Maybe the people in India need to go to their carriers and complain that they don't subsidize the phone.  

post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

Since India is mostly pay as you go, why should the carriers subsidize anything?

 

Why should Apple reduce pricing? You can argue either side, and yes, if that is the standard in India and if Apple wants to compete there (as they seem to want to) then it is Apple that should move, or move the telcos. I further agree that if the U.S. did not subsidize phones, then we also would be buying many more cheap phones, or keeping our iPhones much longer than every 2 years. 

 

Does Apple want to play the race to the bottom in the hopes that the Indians will purchase content to make up the margin loss? I don't know, but I hope not. 

post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

"When you have seen this in the phone industry": Apple's margins on the older models (4 and 4S) are higher than on their flagship model. I am pretty sure the margins on the iPad mini are pretty fat, due to much cheaper display.

 

 

Depends on what you are stating. If you argue that Apple's older models could be reduced in price to compete, then okay. If you are suggesting a new product of cheaper quality to compete, I disagree. I do so, because with older products you have component savings, R&D is already baked in, and so on. So if the iPhone 4(s) is at 40% and Apple wants to reduce to 30% to compete, sure, win:win for everyone. 

 

My personal opinion is that I don't see Apple introducing a new product with cheaper components in order to compete. Older components such as last years Ax chip, sure. Smaller 2GB SSD, sure. Plastic chase and cheap glass, no. 

post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

Such as?

I was going to ask the same but he answered them in a later post.
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post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

I am not disagreeing, I am merely saying that the bottom of the line phones (which, in Apple's case, are the older models) are higher margin [for Apple]. This is part of the reason why I cannot understand the talk of cheaper iPhone -- why don't they just sell the older models for cheap, just as they are doing in the US?

 

Agree 100%. If Apple has enough margin in the 4(s) to reduce price and compete, then I don't see why not in order to sell more content over the long term. They even have the excuse in India (from what I am reading on this thread) as the price is higher due to import tax. If apple would eat that, with say an instant rebate, then they would not have to lower the price worldwide. 

 

Although it looks as though the financing option is working well. 

post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's iPhone has moved into second place in the Indian smartphone market, holding a 15.6 percent revenue share. That's a distant second, though, to Samsung's hold on the market. Offering a wide range of handsets at an array of price points has allowed Samsung to grab 38.8 percent of the revenue in India's growing smartphone market.

 

Sales are further apart, with Samsung over 33% share vs. Apple under 5%.

 

Quote:
Since mobile providers in India do not subsidize the cost of smartphones, Apple is faced with a difficult situation in the country. The company's flagship iPhone 5 sells for 45,500 rupees, while Samsung's Galaxy Grand is available for 21,500 rupees.

 

Samsung just dropped the Grand price in India to 19,500 rupees.

 

Found a site that calculates import duty and sure enough, it all adds up for the $640 iPhone:

 

Rs. 34,500 base price + Rs. 11,000 import duty = 45,500 rupees

 

 

Working backward, the Samsung Grand must have a base price of Rs. 15,000 ($280) in order to hit Rs. 19,500.

post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

Again, Apple does not have to do anything, but the carrier subsidy only makes sense in the prepaid world, which appears to be much more popular in the US than elsewhere in the world, from what I know.

 

I wonder then how does the U.S. telcos make up the money? Data plans? If so, I think I might rather have the higher iPhone cost and cheaper monthly data plan. 

post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

Sales are further apart, with Samsung over 33% share vs. Apple under 5%.

 

 

Samsung just dropped the Grand price in India to 19,500 rupees.

 

Found a site that calculates import duty and sure enough, it all adds up for the $640 iPhone:

 

Rs. 34,500 base price + Rs. 11,000 import duty = 45,500 rupees

 

 

[chart]

 

 

Nice work! 

post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I don't have to sound businessy, as I'm not trying to court any customers.[/]On the contrary, Apple should be more selective in choosing potential customers and potential markets to go after.

So where should they go next? Mars? Venus? What potential markets with money are out there that Apple isn't in already? 1/3 of the earth's population lives in India and they're economic status is growing. Not getting a foothold on the ground level cost prove costly for years to come.
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post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

Again, Apple does not have to do anything, but the carrier subsidy only makes sense in the prepaid world, which appears to be much more popular in the US than elsewhere in the world, from what I know.

They go prepaid because they can't afford a post paid plan. How can a carrier survive subsidizing such a uncertain customer base?
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post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


So where should they go next? Mars? Venus? What potential markets with money are out there that Apple isn't in already? 1/3 of the earth's population lives in India and they're economic status is growing. Not getting a foothold on the ground level cost prove costly for years to come.

 

Although Apple is trying to find ways to help them finance the phones, how often do you take your company into markets that can't afford your product/service? 

post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


They go prepaid because they can't afford a post paid plan. How can a carrier survive subsidizing such a uncertain customer base?

 

If they can't afford the phone's plan, how can they afford the phone? And if a carrier should not survive subsidizing, how would Apple? 

post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

Correct, data (and voice, which is insanely overpriced) plans. A friend of mine who is now in Germany pays something like $15 a month for his data (for an iPhone) which is about a factor of three less than the cheapest prepaid plan in the US. Notice that Apple is also getting a kickback on the data plan from the carrier.

 

Now I'm really feeling used : ( 

post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

Although Apple is trying to find ways to help them finance the phones, how often do you take your company into markets that can't afford your product/service? 

Are you suggesting not one single Indian can afford a iPhone? With 1 billion people chances are that Apple can sell as many iPhones in India as they do in small countries.
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post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

It is not their product but their business model the indians can't afford. If, as I suspect, the iPhone 4 costs under $100 to produce, they could easily compete on price with Samsung, while still making a lot of money on each handset.

 

Who's Apple? If Apple has to finance the phone, then the Indians can't afford it. If the country is on nothing but prepaid plans, then maybe Apple should wait until they can afford higher end tech. I'm not trying to be rude, but afford what you can afford (unlike us Americans). 

post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Are you suggesting not one single Indian can afford a iPhone? With 1 billion people chances are that Apple can sell as many iPhones in India as they do in small countries.

 

Actually, I don't know, but what I am seeing within this thread and thus commenting on. They have pre-paid as they cannot afford regular plans. Then I suggested what you quoted. If the first is true, then the second would be logical. 

 

I'm sure there are plenty of Indians that can afford the phone and are buying it. But the conversation is towards the ones that can't afford a regular phone plan, much less the cost of the phone. 

post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

Who's Apple? If Apple has to finance the phone, then the Indians can't afford it. If the country is on nothing but prepaid plans, then maybe Apple should wait until they can afford higher end tech. I'm not trying to be rude, but afford what you can afford (unlike us Americans). 

And Apple can't afford to let the competition get entrenched in such a huge market.
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post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

The cost of a postpaid (sorry, I said prepaid before, we regret the error :)) plan over two years in the US is at least $2K (since you cannot get an iPhone without a data plan), which is much more than the cost of the device. Your phone is then locked, so you cannot opt out. As for Apple, all they need to do is accept making half the money they are on each handset -- in a country like India they would make it up in volume, but they refuse to budge from their business model (I am overstating this slightly, since the root article does say that they are willing to discount some).

 

You had me up until selling a product at half price and expecting to make up for it volume, but do a agree that if there is room in the margin then that could be a possibility. Although Apple looks to have chosen the financing option which would probably work out better. 


Edited by Richard Getz - 4/16/13 at 6:28pm
post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I don't have to sound businessy, as I'm not trying to court any customers. On the contrary, Apple should be more selective in choosing potential customers and potential markets to go after. It is debatable if it is a good idea for Apple to listen to all of the analysts and talking heads, and to release a cheap phone, just because certain people are crying out for one and they like to throw around dumb catch words like "developing markets". Developing markets my ass. It sounds like bad business strategy.
Maybe Apple can do like some others do, and sell at cost or even below cost. I'm sure that they'll make it all up in volume. What's the end game here? To sell as many phones as possible to everybody in the world? If that's the case, then Apple's current strategy is not a good one. You have to practically give your shit away for free, if maximum penetration is the goal. And judging by how conservative Apple is, maximum penetration is probably a banned word at Apple HQ.
Wow, have you applied to be the CEO of Apple? Because they are obviously really in need of your expertise.
post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


And Apple can't afford to let the competition get entrenched in such a huge market.

 

Why do you suggest that? Apple sells far, far fewer PCs than anyone else and yet, they still make money. I don't think you understand their business model. Unlike all the PC companies that are either gone under, about to, or are struggling, or the phone manufacturers that have gone the same way, Apple continues to make money hand over fist. Apple is about high quality products that warrant larger margins. That's just who they are. It's in their DNA as they have stated. 

post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

You had to up until selling a product at half price and expecting to make up for it volume, but do a agree that if there is room in the margin then that could be a possibility. Although Apple looks to have chosen the financing option which would probably work out better. 

He didn't say a half priced phone, he meant cut the margin in half. So instead of a 40% margin make it 20%.
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post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

Why do you suggest that? Apple sells far, far fewer PCs than anyone else and yet, they still make money. I don't think you understand their business model. Unlike all the PC companies that are either gone under, about to, or are struggling, or the phone manufacturers that have gone the same way, Apple continues to make money hand over fist. Apple is about high quality products that warrant larger margins. That's just who they are. It's in their DNA as they have stated. 

Do you really think that Macs are a big source of income for Apple, their bread and butter since 2007 is the iPhone.
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