Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) has set a target of 10 billion rupees (about $161 million) in revenues from the sale of the iPhone5s in India for the current quarter, as the company tries to get a foothold in one of the world’s largest, and most cost-conscious, markets for mobile phones, which is currently dominated by Samsung (KRX:005930).
Apple has witnessed robust demand for its iPhones in India over the past few quarters, after the Cupertino, Calif.- based company began offering added incentives, such as interest-free loans, through tie-ups with local partners to attract buyers. The company is targeting iPhone 5s sales to touch twice the number of iPhone 5 phones sold in the same quarter last year. Apple is blamed for neglecting the Indian market until two years ago, helping rivals such as Samsung gain the upper hand in a market growing at about 15 percent.
The sales target, if achieved, would make the iPhone 5s one of Apple's most successful smartphone launches in the country. Robust sales of the iPhone 5 model last year helped Apple become the second-largest smartphone seller by value in India, behind Samsung.
The company has now launched a massive advertising campaign in India for its iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c devices, along with telecom partners Reliance Communications (BOM:532712) and Bharti Airtel (BOM:532454), the Economic Times reported.
According to media reports, Apple ran out of its iPhone 5s stock of about 4,000 units within 24 hours of the phone's launch on Nov. 1 in India and has sought fresh shipments. The company has to sell about 200,000 new units in less than two months to achieve its sales target.
However, the iPhones' high price tags are still a deterrent in the price-sensitive Indian market, and the company also is handicapped with a limited presence across multiple price bands. The company is also seen to be in a quandary as it struggles to choose between high market share with lower profit margins and high profit margins with a limited market presence.
Apple's iPhone 5s models are currently the costliest smartphones in the country, with the 16GB unit retailing at about 53,500 rupees, a 32GB unit costing 62,500 rupees and a 64GB phone costing 71,500 rupees.