By Roger Fingas
Sunday, July 15, 2018, 02:24 pm PT (05:24 pm ET)
Three senior Apple executives in India left the company, amid the company's posters is prone to see local iPhone sales fall further in 2018.
Apple's Indian division has lost its national head of sales and distribution, the head of its commercial channels and the mid-market , and the head of sales of operators, according to Bloomberg sources . One person indicated that the sales team of the division is in restructuring.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has often tried to paint India positively, for example by saying he was "very optimistic" about the company's prospects. But the iPhone has had a one-digit market share in India for years, as a result of the company's unwillingness to build cheaper models to compete with Samsung and Xiaomi, and the fact that until recently it did not join no phone locally. The iPhone SE and iPhone 6s are manufactured there.
Local production is critical, as tariffs on imported electronic products aggravate the already high prices of iPhones. Most Indians can not afford a next generation iPhone, which has led Apple to focus on older models, sometimes not available in other countries.
"Indian iPhone sales were weak in the first half of 2018 and, even if they show a big leap in the traditionally strong second half, Apple will not yet reach last year," said Counterpoint research director Neil Shah It is said that the company sold 3.2 million iPhones in 2017 and less than one million in the first half of this year. Its current market share is only 2 percent.
Sources Bloomberg blame Michel Coulomb, who took over Indian operations in December and has allegedly been slow to encourage commercial relations. People also, however, reiterated prolonged complaints that Apple has had trouble understanding the Indian market.
In addition to this, Apple is in a situation of " Catch-22 ," Shah added. "He has not put a big focus or investments in India because the market is so tiny."