Apple, dwindling, sells less than a million iPhones in India in 2018

Apple is struggling big-time to sell iPhones in India

To make matters worse, a trio of top Apple executives in India allegedly have left the company. The three executives consist of Rahul Puri head of national sales and distribution, Jayant Gupta head of operator business and iPhone sales, and Manish Sharma who was the national sales head of telecom.

Bloomberg's sources indicated Apple has had problems making business relationships with local carriers, and that it had "had difficulties understanding the country, leaving the sales team direction-less".

Meanwhile, Apple rivals Samsung and Xiaomi continue to thrive in India with the sale of lower-tier hardware. All Apple devices available in India are imported, except for the iPhone SE that is assembled by Wistron in the country.

Smartphone makers are looking to boost business in India - a country of 1.3 billion people - as sales in other large markets like the U.S. and China stagnate.

Apple's failure to get going in India compounds its troubles elsewhere in Asia - the iPhone X for instance has been a disappointment in China. According to an estimate from Counterpoint Research, Apple sold less than one million iPhone units in the first half of this year. While the iPhone's price tag puts it out of reach for most, the CEO has predicted that young, aspiring Indians moving up the socio-economic ladder would increasingly look to upgrade.

Apple is said to have lost three key members of staff in India in the past weeks as it grapples with the Indian market. The inattention could send more users to Android phones, making it hard for Apple to build a user base and win loyalty.

The supply chain makers pointed out that they have been willing to cope with Apple's demand to build up inventory due to the company's proven records for cooperation previously, but they were caught by surprise this time.

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