updated 10:33 am EST, Fri February 8, 2013
Company pursuing more aggressive marketing
Apple has managed to grow sales in India about 300 to 400 percent in three months, according to the Times of India. The paper notes that after long neglecting the country, Apple has begun a hard marketing campaign for the iPhone, steering away from a previous strategy which relied on local cellphone carriers. Convergence Catalyst founder Jayanth Kolla remarks that as little as six months ago, Apple India employed only 30 or so people; the division now has closer to 150.
The company has reportedly benefited from an open distribution model with distributors Redington and Ingram Micro. Redington recently revealed, moreover, that Apple has been reimbursing the cost of full-page newspaper ads via higher margins on iPhones. Despite this mutual arrangement, iPhone-related ads helped drive Redington's expenses up 20 percent sequentially in the December quarter. "It is a joint effort by Apple and its distributors. While other brands have an in-house team for advertisements, Apple does that through its partners," adds the managing director of Ingram Micro India, J.K. Jaishankar.
Apple has also made installment plans an option for Indian shoppers. "Apple understands that instalments-based payment is an effective tool for bridging the gap between value and affordability. We started the EMI scheme with Apple early this year and witnessed a three-fold increase in sales," says TheMobileStore CEO Himanshu Chakrawarti. Up front the iPhone 5 is out of the price range of many Indians, costing at least 45,000 rupees.