If anyone needed strong evidence that Apple Inc is keen to step up its stakes in the Indian market, here it is. The company has announced the relaunch of a low-cost alternative to its main iPhone range, the iPhone SE. This phone is already being manufactured in India by a company Wistron, with its assembly unit in Karnataka.
The latest news to emerge out of this arrangement is that a reworked 4-inch (could also be 4.2-inch) phone with specifications matching a typical budget phone will soon be launched in the country.
Appleâ€™s CEO Tim Cook has made it very clear to his team that Apple must expand its commitment to the Indian market and increase the market share and add to the companyâ€™s overall revenue and profitability.
Now coming back to the iPhone SE, it is expected to be powered by the Apple A10 SoC and the phone may be released in two storage variants, 32GB and 128GB. Apple phones generally do not have the microSD card provision. The phone will also be fitted with a 1700mAh battery.
While there is no indication on the exact price, the new and re-worked iPhone SE will be sold at, the report carrying this information suggests that the company has already obtained an exemption of 10% in customs duty on its components, when imported.
It is expected that this will help the company drop the deviceâ€™s price further and make it affordable to those who wish to own an Apple smartphone but canâ€™t spend on the high-end phone the company sells.
The iPhone SE is likely to be released into the market in the first quarter of 2018.
At the end of the day, Apple has to follow the same route many multinationals have taken before in this country. They try and come with the same vision that they have for the other international markets and then realize after a while that this is a highly cost-conscious market and you can win here only by playing with the selling price.
People may still compromise a little on the quality or performance of devices, but if the seller has to achieve numbers in terms of sales volumes, then price is the limiting factor.
Apple appears to be serious in its objective of doubling its market share in India in the next five years.