Apple has realised that China is not going to buy its over-priced toys and has decided to see if India will accept yet another religion in its extensive melting pot of Gods.
It all makes sense, after all if people are prepared to queue to bathe in the great god of the Ganga then surely they will line up to worship a sacred Apple in one of its expensive cathedrals designed by a dead American.
It is not the only fruit-themed outfit trying to make an impression on India. BlackBerry is also launching the first smartphone from its make-or-break BB10 line in India. The smartphone maker recently re-incarnated from the dead body of a phone company which was overseen by a two headed monster of management, which fell to bits when the two heads could not get on.
According to Reuters, Apple has been trying to peddle its trinkets without much success in India. But more than four years after it started selling iPhones in India, Apple is now aggressively pushing the overpriced gizmo through payment plans that enable you to pay the phone off over several lifetimes.
The adverts claim that you can have your dream phone for only $93. For the record, the full price of an iPhone 5 is almost two months wages for an entry-level software engineer so you would have to buy one on the drip.
Apple has not had any success in emerging markets and has seen the ground stomped all over by rivals such as Samsung and Blackberry which have dominated using a killer system called affordability over Apple’s traditional marketing reality distortion field.
Apple expanded its India sales effort in the latter half of 2012 by adding two distributors. Previously it sold iPhones only through a few carriers and stores it calls premium resellers.
Within the smartphone segment, Apple’s Indian market share last quarter was just five percent.
Samsung dominates Indian smartphone sales with a 40 percent lead and the market has also been flooded by cheaper Android phones from local brands such as Micromax and Lava.
The drive is being seen by some in Silicon Valley and Wall Street as laying the groundwork for a cheaper iPhone in developing markets. The risk is that a cheap iPhone would cannibalise demand for the premium version and eat into Apple’s obscene margins.
Its current campaign, say observers, should help sell the phone better, but it is not meant for the regular top-end customer, it is meant to upgrade those who might just be able to afford one at a push.