Apple has traditionally had trouble with sales in India. While the company started manufacturing iPhones in the country to lower the price locally, it seems that it has a long road ahead of it, according to a report from Bloomberg: it’s sold fewer than a million devices in the first half of 2018.
Bloomberg reports that three Apple sales executives left the company as it restructures its operations there. It only has a 2 percent marketshare in India, and in 2017, it sold 3.2 million iPhones, according to a report by Counterpoint Research. But those sales appear to have slowed: the same report estimates that Apple has moved “fewer than a million devices,” and even with strong sales, it’ll have trouble catching up to last year’s numbers.
India is the world’s third largest market for smartphones, but its high tariffs — adding between 15 to 20 percent to the price — has pushed consumers towards cheaper alternatives, like Samsung. Earlier this summer, Apple began to build the iPhone 6S and the iPhone SE in the country — a tactic that the company hopes will help reduce the price of its phones. But it’ll take a while before Apple’s operations there get up and running at full capacity, and in the meantime, Apple is lagging further behind its competitors.
India could be a huge opportunity for Apple, and CEO Tim Cook has indicated that it’s going to move aggressively into the country. The country has expanded its 4G network and has a growing middle class, which could mean that more people will be willing adopt Apple’s products. Despite those low sales numbers, however, Cook said in May that the company’s revenue from India has grown, setting a record for the first half of 2018.
Updated July 15th 2018, 2:50PM: An earlier headline accidentally omitted “in India.” We regret the error.