Apple Launches its First Retail Stores in India

According to the United Nations, India is on track to pass China as the world’s most populous country later this year. This is an important demographic trend for marketers to recognize; China has held the rank of the most populous nation in the world since 1950.

Along with India, the two countries combine to equal roughly a third of the world’s 7.9 billion people (and likely more by the time you read this article). However, China has an aging population, with low growth. India on the other hand has a much younger population, higher fertility rate, and decreased infant mortality.

Recognizing these trends, Apple has finally opened its first two retail stores in India –  Mumbai and New Delhi, two of India’s wealthiest cities. Until now, Apple products were sold only by third-party sellers in India, which presented its own set of problems for the company. Apple sold 6.5 million iPhones in India in 2022; compare this with the volume of 50 million a year sold in China and the U.S. China is a growing market for technology and innovation.

Of particular interest will be the iPhone pricing. The iPhone is a relatively expensive phone for consumers there. Considered a ‘premium’ product, only 11% of the market could afford iPhones. However it was also the fastest growing segment.

For all these reasons, it’s easy to understand why companies do through analysis of countries for expansion. Population size is only one indicator of potential sales. The psychographic profile is also key. India’s population is more willing to pay a premium for phones and as a ‘premium’ product,  Apple is viewed as a status symbol there.

What does Apple need to do to succeed in India?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show video of opening of Apple in India:
  2. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  3. Which strategy is Apple using for this new venture?
  4. Why this marketing strategy?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Apple.
  6. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
  7. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Kharpal, A. (18 April 2023). Apple opens its first store in India as it looks for a new generation of iPhone users. CNBC.; Travelli, A., and Raj, S. (18 April 2023). Apple opens first store in India, a promising frontier for the tech giant. New York Times.; other news sources.

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