Cheap smartphones besting Apple, Samsung in growing Indian market sales

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Local smartphone makers in India with aggressively low prices are outselling worldwide market leaders Apple and Samsung, according to new data.

The sales are being driven by first-time smartphone buyers in India, according to a report published Friday by Bloomberg. The big winners have been Karbonn Mobiles India Pvt. and Micromax Informatics Ltd., which have priced their handsets below 4,000 rupees, or about $73 U.S.

India


In contrast, Apple's flagship iPhone 5 starts at 45,500 rupees, a price that's exceptionally high because mobile providers in India do not provide handset subsidies. Meanwhile, Samsung's Galaxy Grand is available in India for 21,500 rupees.

In a separate report filed on Friday by The Times of India, it was also noted that sales of Apple's legacy iPhone 4 ??a device that first launched in 2010 ? are currently outpacing the iPhone 5 in India. Sales have reportedly tripled over the last week after Apple began offering a discount of at least 7,000 rupees for customers who trade in any smartphone in exchange for an iPhone 4.

With that discount, customers can get an iPhone 4 for less than 20,000 rupees. But even at that discounted price, Apple is still well above the low-end competitors in India that are currently dominating sales.

The popularity of low-priced options in markets like India, China and Brazil, where contract subsidies are not common, has helped to drive speculation that Apple could release a new iPhone model with a lower price to address those markets. Reports have suggested that Apple plans to launch a low-cost iPhone model later this year made of a plastic shell to reduce costs.

However, it's unlikely that Apple would hit price points as low as Karbonn and Micromax are currently offering in India. Market watchers instead expect that Apple could offer an unsubsidized low-cost iPhone model for between $250 and $300.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    jgutherjguther Posts: 80member
    People who cannot afford an iPhone buy cheaper phones. Thanks for the insight...
  • Reply 2 of 44
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    I'm curious about how smart these phones really are. Phone, web browser and email likely. Camera? What quality? Anything else? At that price they aren't likely to have too much going on. Which is fine if that's all the market wants. But it hardly equals the standard definition of a 'smart phone' in terms of the iPhone and Android
  • Reply 3 of 44
    stniukstniuk Posts: 90member


    It's to be expected there's plenty of people in the west can't afford iPhones, galaxies and the like.

  • Reply 4 of 44
    eideardeideard Posts: 385member
    People always buy more Fords. Doesn't mean they wouldn't love an Audi.
  • Reply 5 of 44

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    In contrast, Apple's flagship iPhone 5 starts at 45,500 rupees, a price that's exceptionally high because mobile providers in India do not provide handset subsidies. 


    That's $840 (at current exchange rates) for a "starter" iPhone 5, which can be had fully unlocked in the US for almost $200 less. The local carriers are not just not providing subsidies, but they are actively screwing their consumers. It's no wonder Indians are not buying.


     


    When/if Apple expands its direct presence in India, and if they price at US levels, watch the market share zoom. In other words, no need for the cheap stuff.

  • Reply 6 of 44
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post



    I'm curious about how smart these phones really are. Phone, web browser and email likely. Camera? What quality? Anything else? At that price they aren't likely to have too much going on. Which is fine if that's all the market wants. But it hardly equals the standard definition of a 'smart phone' in terms of the iPhone and Android


    These Micromax and Karbonn mobiles are Android powered. And, they have their own hardware plants. Micromax comes with front camera of 2 MP and back camera with 8 MP.  People who can buy Android phones can buy these Micromax phones.  They even make Tablets. Open Hardware Alliance is the key.


     


    Also... whatever Android can do... like full featured web browser etc.  And also, they come with extendable memory.  The thing is like... people who can buy iPhone and Galaxy, they are buying them.  But people who want to have smartphones and cant afford these two, definitely buy these Micromax and Karbonn mobiles.  They are good.  But not to the best of iPhone or Samsung. My friend's brother over India is using their tablets too! :)

  • Reply 7 of 44
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member


    The Galaxy Grand seems to have had a lot of compromises made to reach a 21,500 Rupee price point.


     


    It is more like the iPhone 4 than the 5, reflected in the pricing being in the same ballpark.


     


    http://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Samsung-Galaxy-Grand,Apple-iPhone-4/phones/7583,4586

  • Reply 8 of 44
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    Apple's flagship iPhone 5 starts at 45,500 rupees, a price that's exceptionally high because mobile providers in India do not provide handset subsidies. Meanwhile, Samsung's <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/02/25/samsung-to-launch-flagship-galaxy-s4-at-march-14-event">Galaxy Grand</a> is available in India for 21,500 rupees.

    1. You can't put a price on quality. I'd say the Samsung phone is exceptionally high

    2. Cut is out with the Apple-esque flag, will you AI.

    700700
  • Reply 9 of 44
    That's $840 (at current exchange rates) for a "starter" iPhone 5, which can be had fully unlocked in the US for almost $200 less. The local carriers are not just not providing subsidies, but they are actively screwing their consumers. It's no wonder Indians are not buying.

    When/if Apple expands its direct presence in India, and if they price at US levels, watch the market share zoom. In other words, no need for the cheap stuff.
    They may not get subsidized phones but the service cost is dirt cheap. For less than $15 a month a person can get unlimited talk, text and data. That's for the upper end post paid plan. Cheaper plans also exist. So in the end the math becomes much more favorable for the Indians who are buying IPhones at full price.
  • Reply 10 of 44
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    khanzain wrote: »
    That's $840 (at current exchange rates) for a "starter" iPhone 5, which can be had fully unlocked in the US for almost $200 less. The local carriers are not just not providing subsidies, but they are actively screwing their consumers. It's no wonder Indians are not buying.

    When/if Apple expands its direct presence in India, and if they price at US levels, watch the market share zoom. In other words, no need for the cheap stuff.
    They may not get subsidized phones but the service cost is dirt cheap. For less than $15 a month a person can get unlimited talk, text and data. That's for the upper end post paid plan. Cheaper plans also exist. So in the end the math becomes much more favorable for the Indians who are buying IPhones at full price.

    That's a valid point; you will need to take all costs into account (pun intended).
  • Reply 11 of 44
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,353member
    3rd world countries can't afford expensive phones, news at 10!
  • Reply 12 of 44

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by khanzain View Post



    They may not get subsidized phones but the service cost is dirt cheap. For less than $15 a month a person can get unlimited talk, text and data. That's for the upper end post paid plan. Cheaper plans also exist. So in the end the math becomes much more favorable for the Indians who are buying IPhones at full price.


    Not relevant, since such low cost plans are similar for all smart phones. Also, the reason for low cost is, most systems are still legacy 2G or 2.5G. (3G has been barely rolled out, let alone 4G which is non-existent).

  • Reply 13 of 44
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member


    Apple doesn't make wooden phones.

  • Reply 14 of 44
    timbittimbit Posts: 331member
    When you have 1/7 of the world population, it's big news. Apple needs to consider these things (which I'm sure they already have). They must have decided that quality is better/more financially rewarding than quantity
  • Reply 15 of 44
    And Tata sells a $1000 car in India. Does that mean all other auto manufacturers should be worried and need to lower their prices to match?
  • Reply 16 of 44


    None of you know me from Adam's housecat.  That being said, I'm sharing a cube with an Indian (cross-training) who is in the States temporarily.


     


    I showed him this article, and he has never heard of Karbonn or Micromax.  (He has an iPhone 4S.)

     

  • Reply 17 of 44
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,583member


    This proves what I've always been saying. There is no use for Apple to go after some of the poorest people in the world, because Apple can never win the race to the bottom. And I think that it's pretty telling when even cheap Android phones can not capture the top spot in India.


     


    I didn't think that you could get more bottom of the barrel than Android, but apparently, somebody else has outdone them.image

  • Reply 18 of 44
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    evilution wrote: »
    3rd world countries can't afford expensive phones, news at 10!

    You'd be surprised what countries are considered 3rd world.
  • Reply 19 of 44


    Originally Posted by Evilution View Post



    3rd world countries can't afford expensive phones, news at 10!


    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


     


    Check these two articles when you get a chance. Based on nominal GDP model, India stands 9th highest in the world and based on Purchasing Power Parity model, India stands 3rd highest in the world. Perhaps that's what you mean't  by "3rd world"? 3rd in the world!


     


    Nominal GDP


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)


     


    By GDP (PPP)


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

  • Reply 20 of 44


    Check these two articles when you get a chance. Based on nominal GDP model, India stands 9th highest in the world and based on Purchasing Power Parity model, India stands 3rd highest in the world. Perhaps that's what you mean't  by "3rd world"? 3rd in the world!


     


    Nominal GDP


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)


     


    By GDP (PPP)


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

Sign In or Register to comment.