Apple is reportedly planning on increasing its presence in India by tapping into smaller towns and cities. In a recently held meeting with over 200 executives from major retail chains, Maneesh Dhir, country head, and Sanjay Kaul, telecom business chief, Apple India have revealed their expansion plans of pushing the sales of iPhones, iPads and iPods in the top 50 tier two and tier three towns.
The CEO of a top retail chains has told Economic Times that while Apple would only focus on metros and big cities earlier, the Cupertino company has realized the potential and importance of other smaller cities in India. He has been quoted saying that “If it (Apple) wants to grow fast in India, it has to look beyond the metros… The company wants to grow upwards of 30 percent year-on-year in India and feels the smaller markets would play a critical role since the aspiration level of Apple products amongst the youth and rich is growing there as well.”
Apple is looking at setting up to 100 stand-alone exclusive stores in smaller towns under a franchise model. However, Apple’s stringent standards for stores might be a challenge in smaller towns in India but the company is willing to provide up to 20 percent in margins if sales targets are met.
Earlier this year, Apple started the buyback scheme for its products, which became an instant hit. Even Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged the success in India where he said the company grew by 400 percent year-on-year, admittedly on a small base. The push to reach into the smaller towns, can push the company’s share in the market. Various reports have suggested that while Samsung has 26-36 percent smartphone market share in India, Apple accounts for less than 5 percent of this market.