Apple's Cook dismisses Indian phone market concerns, says company 'focused on best, not most'

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The iPhone may have a small marketshare in India, but the company isn't worried about that and is instead holding out for the long-term, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview published on Friday.




"We are in India for the next thousand years," he told The Hindu. "Our horizon is very long. We are focused on best, not most. So it doesn't bother me that we don't have top market share."

In stark contrast with many countries, the iPhone has just a 2 percent share of the Indian market, where companies like Samsung and Micromax are dominant. While Cook has suggested this could improve when new 4G networks come online this year, the overriding issue is typically believed to be pricing, since new iPhones are often vastly more expensive than other options available in India.

Cook reiterated his position, referring to his talks with various Indian telecoms firms.

"I see a great technical collaboration between Apple and main carriers in India and to make sure the iPhone works incredible on those networks. The feedback I have thus far is very positive on that," he commented. "We push really hard, in some ways they think we are crazy, but they love it as well that someone is pushing them hard to work together to solve the most difficult problem."

On the topic of the Indian government declining Apple's application to import used iPhones -- a way around cost issues -- Cook said the company would continue to push for an agreement, and would offer new warranties if it does sell used phones, much like it does on refurbished products elsewhere.

The executive declined to say for certain whether some iPhones might eventually be manufactured in India, but stated that new development-oriented facilities in Bengaluru and Hyderabad would be just the beginning of Apple's local footprint.

Cook is in the final stretch of his first business trip to India as CEO, which began earlier in the week. On Saturday he's expected to meet with the country's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
brakken

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Tim Cook is right about that.

    Who the hell gives a crap about most? 

    Look at all of those other manufacturers, selling their cheap junk for little or no profit.

    It's best that counts. Always has been, and always will be.

    Apple selling a hundred iPhones per year, is better than <<replace with your favorite crappy Android manufacturer>> selling a million disposable phones per year. Garbage multiplied by a million is merely a million pieces of garbage. Ironically, most of those Android phones will most likely be ending up in a landfill pretty soon.

    Apple is in it for the long haul, and Apple should just make the best products that they can. :#


    coolfactorbaconstangjony0
  • Reply 2 of 20
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,752member
    Just curious...who is saying Apple needs to sell the most in India? Don't create these straw men that you can knock down. I don't think any Apple investor is expecting the company to have the most market share in India.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,370member
    Best, not most. I hope that Apple always has that stance. Chasing pure numbers, and doing half-ass on actual implementation, is pointless and harmful to end users.
    baconstang
  • Reply 4 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Just curious...who is saying Apple needs to sell the most in India? Don't create these straw men that you can knock down. I don't think any Apple investor is expecting the company to have the most market share in India.
    Huh! Everyone and their mother in every single market they come into (and those they're already in) have this argument.

    The bitching about the Chinese market and the god damn Gartner report  is case and point.
    Remember the blah blah about Apple needing to release a cheap phone to get into the Indian market... That's just a fracking year ago.

    There is no strawman, it's a standing argument against Apple.
    edited May 2016 tdknox
  • Reply 5 of 20
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,752member
    foggyhill said:
    Just curious...who is saying Apple needs to sell the most in India? Don't create these straw men that you can knock down. I don't think any Apple investor is expecting the company to have the most market share in India.
    Huh! Everyone and their mother in every single market they come into.

    The bitching about the Chinese market and the god damn Gartner report  is case and point.

    There is no strawman, it's a standing argument against Apple.
    Link me to one Wall Street analyst or tech reporter/blogger saying Apple needs to have #1 market share in India. You won't find it. What you will find is analysts saying India is not China and price matters more than status/aspiration.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 532member
    If it unfolds as usual, in a few years, Apple will have 10-20% of the market share, and 90% of the profits.
    NemWantdknoxbrakkenjony0
  • Reply 7 of 20
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    All these people looking 'backwards' at Apple, and then projecting forward.
    smh
  • Reply 8 of 20
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 749member
    I love the "thousand year" line.  It may not be a millennia but Apple is in for the LONG haul and could give a shit but Wall Street's monkey mentality and 3 month time horizon.

    Apple makes the most compelling consumer item on the planet, one that everyone needs (or wants).  They have the endgame for the forseeable future.  And I predict the trajectory of the watch will follo the phone after a few more generations as these plus sized phones are just too big to take out of our pockets and purses for every little thing.
    baconstangnolamacguy
  • Reply 9 of 20
    saltyzipsaltyzip Posts: 193member
    Tim Cook reminds me more and more like a car salesmen. All he seems to be doing is trying to strike deals, which to me seems to smell of desperation. Apple didn't have to court buyers or seller's the products spoke for themselves.

    I suggest Tim stays at home and focuses on the products, they will sell themselves if he does his job properly. The next 5 years will be very interesting.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    saltyzip said:
    Tim Cook reminds me more and more like a car salesmen. All he seems to be doing is trying to strike deals, which to me seems to smell of desperation. Apple didn't have to court buyers or seller's the products spoke for themselves.

    I suggest Tim stays at home and focuses on the products, they will sell themselves if he does his job properly. The next 5 years will be very interesting.
    You make no sense at all. When you enter countries with a boatload of protectionism like India and China (and a hell of a lot of countries in the world), everything is about making deal.

    This is not Apple's home turf, either you play the game how they want it or you stay home.

    How would a good product stand on its own if its 5 times the price (because of all sort of tariffs) or can't be sold at all!

    baconstangnolamacguyRayz2016jony0
  • Reply 11 of 20
    isteelersisteelers Posts: 738member
    saltyzip said:
    Tim Cook reminds me more and more like a car salesmen. All he seems to be doing is trying to strike deals, which to me seems to smell of desperation. Apple didn't have to court buyers or seller's the products spoke for themselves.

    I suggest Tim stays at home and focuses on the products, they will sell themselves if he does his job properly. The next 5 years will be very interesting.
    Apple is the most profitable tech company on the planet.  You don't get that way unless you make products people love and value.  No concerned reporting from some tech blog or magazine is going change the way people feel about their products.  Tim is negotiating with a foreign government.  Making deals is what allows Apple to grow their business there. It already paid off with the Apple stores they are going to build so I think he knows what he is doing. 
    baconstangnolamacguy
  • Reply 12 of 20
    irelandireland Posts: 17,528member
    This is what a leader looks like, guys. Never mind what the toddlers over on MacRumors say about Tim. They have no idea what they are talking about. Tim successfully challenged the FBI.
    baconstanganantksundaram
  • Reply 13 of 20
    dougddougd Posts: 218member
    I find it hard to imagine that Apple will still be an entity in 1000 years
  • Reply 14 of 20
    irelandireland Posts: 17,528member
    dougd said:
    I find it hard to imagine that Apple will still be an entity in 1000 years
    Aim big.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    saltyzip said:
    Tim Cook reminds me more and more like a car salesmen. All he seems to be doing is trying to strike deals, which to me seems to smell of desperation. Apple didn't have to court buyers or seller's the products spoke for themselves.

    I suggest Tim stays at home and focuses on the products, they will sell themselves if he does his job properly. The next 5 years will be very interesting.
    wait -- you mean like they ALREADY ARE? you mean like being the BEST-SELLERS in their categories? you mean like being the MOST-PROFITABLE public corporation in the history of our species? 

    yeah dude. hes a total fuck up. no idea what he's doing. unlike, say, an anonymous guy named "salty zip" on a rumor site. uh huh.
    baconstangloquitur
  • Reply 16 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    dougd said:
    I find it hard to imagine that Apple will still be an entity in 1000 years


    There are a lot of very old, 500 year+, Breweries, hotels, restaurants, pubs, confectioneries, Wineries and pharmacies around.

    Outside those industries,
    A few very old companies that still exist and are now large $100M+ companies,
    the biggest ones are often conglomerates now. So, I guess Google got a head start on that...
    Of the independent single entities, Merck is the largest.

    ----- Sampling of some of the biggest pre 1700 companies, there many more of them in Japan (200+), most would not be on that list though

    1590 Sumitomo Group (Mining initially) Japan     (forefather of a huge Japanese Keiretsu) $50B+
      - All those are parts of the NIKEI 225: Mazda, NEC, Simitomo Electric, Heavy Industries, Mining, Financial, Cement, Realty
    1665 Saint Gobain (Mirrors initially, now Conglomerate) France $42.025 billion
    1668 Merck (Pharmaceutical) 1668 Germany $15B
    1498 Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (Banking) Italy (third largest bank in Italy with $160B in assets)
    1500 Takenaka Construction (Construction) Japan $9B
    1669 Tongrentang (Pharmaceutical) China  $5B+
    1670 Hudson's Bay Company (Retailing) Canada $4B
    1654 Orkla (Mining now Conglomerate) Norwegian $4B
    1689 Gjensidige (Insurance) Norway $3B
    1689 Husqvarna Group (Guns initially now Conglomerate) Sweden $3B
    1624 Marui   (Cloth)  Japan $2.8B
    1526 Beretta (Firearms) Italy $1.1B
    1649 Fiskars (Blades) Germany $800M
    1530 William Prym (Metalwork) Germany   360M Euros
    1466 Gallet  (Timekeeping)   Swiss About 300M
    1534 Cambridge University (Press) UK 270M

    ----

    None of past firms though that firms though have had the multinational reach of modern firms so who knows how long those companies will last.

    There were very few that lasted that long in the past, but these days seemingly some companies have staying power, most Oil companies are derived from their forerunners like Standard Oil,  Chemical companies tend to be very long lasting (Merck being the longest lasting).
    GE has existed for more than hundred years already and is still amongst the largest companies in the world.









    edited May 2016 anantksundarambaconstangloquitur
  • Reply 17 of 20
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,752member
    ireland said:
    This is what a leader looks like, guys. Never mind what the toddlers over on MacRumors say about Tim. They have no idea what they are talking about. Tim successfully challenged the FBI.
    Based on some of the tech pundits/bloggers Apple should close up shop and give everything back to the shareholders. Now John Siracusa has joined in, raving about Google I/O and how Apple is doomed because they're supposedly so far behind in AI/AR/VR. Just a few years ago Apple was lauded for its commitment to privacy now it's doomed because of it. It's incredible how quickly people can jump on the D&G bandwagon. Or the Google bandwagon even though they announce a bunch of stuff with no ship date or price. But it looks cool and that's all that matters.
    bobschlobbaconstang
  • Reply 18 of 20
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,752member
    saltyzip said:
    Tim Cook reminds me more and more like a car salesmen. All he seems to be doing is trying to strike deals, which to me seems to smell of desperation. Apple didn't have to court buyers or seller's the products spoke for themselves.

    I suggest Tim stays at home and focuses on the products, they will sell themselves if he does his job properly. The next 5 years will be very interesting.
    How many products was Apple selling in China and India when Steve Jobs was running the show? This goes way beyond "the products selling themselves". 
    baconstang
  • Reply 19 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    As an addendum on my post about pre 1700 current $100M+ companies I forgot:
    -  Barclays at $23B in annual revenues and Lloyd or London (1688)
    Berenberg bank (1590) and Coutts (1690) are also probably also above $100M.

    In Switzerland I forgot
    Hauert (1663) (Fertilizers)

    In Japan, other industries ripe with long lived, if smallish companies are : sake producers, specialty paper producers

    Other almost certainly $100M+ private companies in Japan (think that's pretty much it I think)

    Moriroku Chemicals Co. (1666) (Chemicals)
    Miki & Co. (1674) (Chemical products trading)
    Matsumoto Trading Co (1663) (conglomerate in Chemicals, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics)
    Ohki healthcare holdings (1658) (Pharmaceutical, now conglomerate of healthcare companioes)
    Mitsukoshi (1673) (Retailing) (own Isetan department store chain)
    Usui (1662) (retaiing) (department store chain)
    Maruei (1615) (retailing) (department store chain)
    Kikkoman 1634 (Food transformation, distribution)







    edited May 2016
  • Reply 20 of 20
    India has a huge (in pure numbers, not percentage) middle class compared to most other countries in the world [citation needed!], also, you can't swing a dead cat around in India without hitting an Audi, a Porsche, a BMW, or a Mercedes. Apple should have no problem selling their top-tier iPhones and Macs here. Indians love brands and the status that those brands imply.
    With Apple opening iOS development centers in India, their image and profile will be even greater. And once Apple Pay and other services are brought here, Apple will be a hugely sought after brand. Apple will never win the market share game, but that's because they're not playing. They're interested in building products that they are proud of, not cheap crap just to boost sales numbers or gain market share.
    If Apple sells only 5 million iPhones a year in India, that's still worth the effort, I think. It would get even better if Apple would release products in India at the same time they released them in the US.
    loquitur
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