Home Mobility Apple cuts iPhone X margins for Indian retailers

Apple cuts iPhone X margins for Indian retailers

Stores in India which sell the iPhone X have complained about the reduction in retail margins by Apple from 6.5% to 4.5%.

Large chains and even small-scale operators are accusing the company of wanting to scoop in massive margins while not allowing its retail partners to benefit.

The Economic Times reported that some stores, like the Bengaluru-based Sangeetha Mobiles, had stopped taking orders for the iPhone X.

This comes as a supply-demand mismatch in India has led to calls for Apple to give the country a higher priority when it comes to providing stock in time.

As iTWire reported recently, iPhone production has fallen to the extent that it has affected the bottom line of companies like Foxconn which assemble the devices.

The Economic Times quoted Subhash Chandra, managing director at Sangeetha Mobiles, as saying: "Apple has cut margins on the iPhone X from 6.5% to 4.5% for large retailers like us, and if a customer pays by card, which is usually the case, the margin reduces to almost 1.5-2%."

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Sangeetha Mobiles has about 400 stores across India. "Apple gives the least margins… How on earth do they expect the retailer to work for them for free -- our overheads are anywhere around 10%," complained Chandra.

The margins offered by brands like Samsung and Xiaomi are more than double what Apple does - 12% to 15%. Brands like Oppo and Vivo are giving higher than usual margins in order to compete better in the burgeoning Indian market.

The Economic Times quoted an unnamed chief executive of a top retail chain as saying that he would not be stocking the iPhone X at its 300-odd stores due to the reduced margins and because he had no control on retail pricing both offline and online.

Underling the supply issues, another big handset retailer said he had received only 400 iPhone X units since the launch, much less than what had been promised by Apple.

Analysts told the newspaper that if Apple did not step up supplies, it may be unable to bridge the gap with Samsung and the numerous Chinese brands that were already ahead in terms of volume sales.

India has about 350 million smartphone users, a number that is expected to grow to 500 million in the next couple of years. Many new buyers or those looking to upgrade are potential iPhone users.

One analyst, Neil Shah, the research director at Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, told the newspaper: “They (Apple) will have to start now because if they lose a window of opportunity in next two years to be on mind of the growing smartphone user base, it would be somewhat difficult to grow faster in the world’s second largest smartphone market.”


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.