Apple is just not having a pleasant time. After so much was made of their explosive (speaking about sales, not batteries) entrance into the Chinese market, Cook & crew quickly found that growth to be short lived. Unfortunately for them, Apple’s former markets just weren’t growing as they once were. In fact, they were shrinking. Apple users just aren’t in a rush to upgrade their phones every cycle as they were before. The reasons behind this are many, and not the point of this post, but the fact remains that Apple has suffered double digit drops in sales, across every category of Apple hardware.
Tim Cook had a plan though. The CEO of Apple, known for execution more than any kind of innovative thinking had a plan. Another large market that could surely take the place of the evasive Chinese market. India! A large population of savvy users that were not already inundated with iPhones. Yes, Apple had found it’s saving grace, and that was India.
Except Apple seems to be running in to more failures than successes trying to break in to that market. Just last week we told you how India had denied Apple a waiver which would have allowed Apple to open retail stores in India on the grounds that Apple products do not count as “cutting edge” Now India has told Apple they do not want second hand phones sold there.
As stated in our previous post, India is a market in which lower cost phones thrive, in fact there seems to be a race as to who can produce the cheapest phones. Apple is by no means a cheap phone. Apple had intended to get around this rather large issue by selling refurbished iPhones in India. This would allow them to keep the value of their new devices high, while still being able to offer a product that may have a chance of selling in India. India’s commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman has stated that this plan has been rejected by the Indian government. In a quote that has a distinct air of anger, Sitharaman stated “We are not in favour of any company selling used phones in the [country], however certified they may be.”
Apple can easily sustain itself and be a profitable company for many years to come, even with the drop in sales continuing going forward, however to maintain their position in the market, and in the minds of the consumer, they need to fix this downward trend quickly. India was the public plan to make this fix, and it’s beginning to look like India may just not want to be another notch on Apple’s belt. As China’s market wanes, and India seems to be shutting the gate on Apple, we really must wonder, what could Tim be Cooking next? One rumor which BGR reported earlier today was that Apple had looked at purchasing Time Warner. Might Cook think it’s time to move on from the mobile phone business being it’s primary business? Personally, I think that would be a smart move, and I think that Apple moving out of the mobile phone business altogether would lead to a much more interesting mobile market.