Apple cutting profits in India to get more iPhones in people’s hands

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iPhone 6 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The iPhone 6 is big in India. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

As Apple continues it global expansion, India marks one of the company’s big next frontiers — with 1.2 billion citizens and a fast-growing smartphone market.

Today, the company gets some good news, in the shape of some great reports about the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the country. Since it launched the two next-gen smartphone handsets there in October, Apple has reportedly sold a massive half a million units in the country: twice what it managed during the same timeframe in 2013.

But Tim Cook’s not done yet. He wants to get more iPhones into the country, and that means… cutting Apple’s profits?

Apple hopes to meet growing iPhone demand in India with 500 retail stores

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An Apple reseller in India. Photo: Lawrence Sinclair/Flickr CC
An Apple reseller in India. Photo: Lawrence Sinclair/Flickr CC

After an expansion into China that is nothing short of spectacular, Apple next has its sights set on India, with its vast population of 1.2 billion citizens and rapidly-growing smartphone market.

With that in mind, the company is reportedly finalizing plans to open 500 “iOS stores” in the country, ranging from smaller 300-600 square foot retail outlets, to ones over 2,000 square foot in larger locations.

These stores will likely be run as a franchise model, and operated by Redington, one of Apple’s two distributors in India, which supplies Apple devices to regional stores. Remington currently accounts for around 70 percent of Apple sales in India.

iPhone may have to find a new name in India

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iPhone 6 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
iPhone 6 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

India is a huge growing market for the iPhone, but a trademark dispute brought by a local Indian company called iVoice Enterprises could throw a wrench in those plans — by attempting to bar Apple from using the handset name it made famous.

You see, as it turns out, back in early 2007 iVoice Enterprises tried to tap into what was then the start of India’s mobile revolution.

Their name for an affordable cellphone? iFon, phonetically pronounced “iPhone.”

India snaps up its iPhone 6 supplies in just 72 hours

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iPhone 6 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
iPhone 6 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

After China, India represents Apple’s next big frontier, with 1.2 billion citizens and a rapidly growing smartphone market, that will have sold approximately 80 million handsets this year.

Which is why it’s great news that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is proving just as popular there as it is elsewhere in the world, with India’s first shipment of the iPhone 6 selling out in a lightning-fast 72 hours.

At 55,000 units, India’s first iPhone shipment may not have been the biggest one around, but it’s still impressive for a country that is still very much a developing market for high end smartphones. Last year, only 6,000 units of the flagship iPhone 5s were supplied by Apple, which also vanished from shelves very quickly.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus coming to 36 new countries this month

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Walmart is offering a sick sale on iPhones this weekend. Photo: Apple
This is Apple's fastest iPhone rollout to date. Photo: Apple

Apple is bringing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to 36 new countries by the end of this month. The Cupertino company today confirmed that the devices will be available in Monaco on October 17 — the same day they go on sale in China and India — and then in Israel on October 23.