According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple Inc. (AAPL) is looking to increase sales of its products in India, which is quickly becoming one of the larger markets in the world. The report notes that AAPL is ‘making moves’ to increase sales, meaning that the company is starting to build a larger presence by increasing the number of employees and is going around wireless carriers to control majority of its marketing efforts. Recently, Apple launched the iTunes Store in India, followed by the Apple TV earlier this month.
Apple is sidestepping wireless carriers to seize greater control over marketing in India and offering no-interest loans to lure lower-income consumers. The company has also boosted staff in India by 30% to 170 employees in the past six months. And it is ramping up the introduction of other products, with the Apple TV video-streaming gadget expected to reach stores in coming weeks, people familiar with the matter say.
The result is that Apple shipped more than 252,000 iPhones to India in the quarter through December, more than triple the number in the previous three months, according to research firm Canalys.
Many reports have even suggested that Apple is looking into bringing its retail stores to the subcontinent, and is likely laying the groundwork to do so. India is ideal for Apple’s entrance into emerging markets, with recent reports suggesting that Apple is looking into building a cheaper iPhone. Samsung, which has become a major competitor for Apple has seen success with its line of Galaxy S devices, as well as cheaper Android devices that sell for around $100.
If Apple were to introduce a cheaper iPhone, it would make sense to introduce it in India, where demand for the company’s products is increasing and where smartphones are not subsidized and operate on prepaid plans. With retail stores in India coupled with the online store, Apple would be able to sell more units of its products and as a result, increase its revenue in the region. China has become one of Apple’s largest sources of revenue, so it is not surprising that India is also beginning to see a demand for Apple products.