After witnessing encouraging growth in iPhone and iPad sales in the country, Apple India is now looking at setting up exclusive stores across the country that will sell only iOS devices, multiple sources who have been briefed by the company on its plans told BGR India. Sales of iPad in India increased by 45 percent year-on-year at the end of last quarter while iPhones too grew by 55 percent in the BRICS region, Apple had revealed during its quarterly earnings call yesterday.
While even Mac sales grew by double digits in India, the volumes for iPhones and iPads are much higher. Apple sees it can grow even further by enlisting retail partners to open exclusive stores that do not sell all Apple products. These stores can be smaller than a typical Apple Premium Reseller store that has to stock all Apple products. Indian FDI norms in single-brand retail outlets does not allow Apple to set up its own stores in the country, forcing it to go the franchise way.
Apple is estimating the product mix to be four iPhones for every iPad sold. It will offer up to 9.5 percent in margin for every iPhone or iPad sold, of which 5 percent would be upfront and the remaining 4.5 percent would be given later. It will also offer up to 6 percent margin on accessories, both from Apple and third parties, according to a document viewed by BGR India.
These stores will be expected to three weeks worth of stocks. The typical manpower requirement for these stores would be one store manager, one iOS promoter (provided by Apple) and one to two sales managers, which signifies these would be tiny stores. The stores will also be required to have 10-15 demo devices, of which Apple would bear 50 percent of the cost.
The move comes at a time when Samsung and other handset vendors are struggling to sell high-end Android smartphones in the country. If sources are to be believed, Apple is on track to sell a million iPhones in India from October 2013 to September 2014 (Apple’s financial year starts from the October quarter).
“Apple has adapted well for the retail market in India. By launching EMI schemes and buyback offers, making the iPhone 4 available in India as an entry-level device while it was discontinued in most parts of the world, launching low-end variant of the iPhone 5C 8GB, the company has managed to leverage its iconic brand by making various models available at different price points, catering to multiple consumer segments, and ensuring volume sales growth,” Jayanth Kolla, partner, Convergence Catalyst, a boutique telecom research and advisory firm told BGR India.
Don’t be surprised if your friendly neighbourhood Samsung Smartphone Cafe turns into an Apple exclusive store in the coming months.