The battle for smartphone marketshare in India is all set to intensify as both Google’s Android operating system (OS) and Apple’s iOS looks to capitalise on the growing demand in the country.
Although the Cupertino-based Apple has nearly doubled its sales in India, it is yet to find the right balance of price in the country. The company has been lobbying to get special privileges to start its own stores and a manufacturing facility in the country so that it is able to pass benefits to consumers in terms of the final retail price.
The government is yet to decide on what sops the iPhone-maker can be provided with and is scheduled to meet on January 25 to discuss the issue. Apple has already chosen Taiwanese contract-manufacturer Wistron to make iPhones in the country leaving Foxconn — its largest manufacturer. The unit is expected to come up in an industrial area in Bengaluru.
Further, the company’s CEO Tim Cook has several times, mostly during product launches and in earnings calls, underlined the growing importance of India as sales in China slowed down. Cook, during his trip to India, had also expressed desire to process refurbished iPhones in the country. Apple is facing stiff competition in China from cheaper Android handset-makers.
On the other hand, Android is losing ground in the US as new data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that Android sales dropped in the US, Great Britain, and France in the three-month period ending November 2016.
At the same time, Apple’s iOS “continued to make gains across most regions,” Kantar said.
This marks the sixth consecutive period of decline for Android in the US, the firm said. Google’s mobile OS now accounts for 55.3 percent of all smartphones sales, down from 60.4 percent a year earlier.
Samsung’s Note 7 fiasco also cost the Android bandwagon in the US. Samsung is the largest contributor to Android OS ecosystem.
Things played out differently in China, where Android continued to dominate the market, accounting for nearly 80 percent of all smartphone sales during the period, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia’s Strategic Insight Director Tamsin Timpson.
Apple’s iOS dropped to 19.9 percent share in urban China from 25.3 percent a year ago, but saw a 2.8 percentage point uptick over the previous three month period, thanks to iPhone 7 sales.