For Apple, India Is the Next China | Kanebridge News
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For Apple, India Is the Next China

Apple’s move to open its famed retail store in India signals the market is a high priority

By MEGHA MANDAVIA
Tue, Apr 11, 2023 8:33amGrey Clock 3 min

Apple’s playbook in India is evolving, from testing the country as a counterweight to China’s supply-chain dominance to viewing it as an emerging growth hub for demand.

Both of these strategies are working off each other.

Last week, Apple unveiled the look of its first retail store in India that is set to open this month, signalling India’s growing importance for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. Until now Apple has sold iPhones and other products in the country mostly through resellers, e-commerce websites and large format retail chains. With the opening of its own famed brick-and-mortar store, it is adding another critical layer to this wide distribution.

The move isn’t surprising given Chief Executive Tim Cook in February called India a major focus for Apple, adding that the company is putting a lot of emphasis on the market. On the call, Apple said it posted record iPhone revenue in India in the December quarter, though they didn’t give a specific figure, even as overall revenue declined.

It is no secret that Apple has been growing its manufacturing base in India as it works on a China + 1 strategy. But this narrative has overshadowed India’s steady climb up the luxury ladder over the past few years, and the opportunity it presents for Apple to find the next lucrative market similar to China.

Making iPhones and then selling them in India ensures a smooth supply chain—a page directly out of Apple’s massive success in China over the past decade. Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, believes that now the company will have “skin in the game” building out production in India with retail success along the way.

For several years, Apple struggled to make a dent in the Indian market and compete against more affordable Chinese models. Only now is it gaining traction. Apple had a mere 1% market share in 2019 and may cross a 5% share this year in the country’s overall smartphone market, according to Counterpoint Research. To be sure, that contrasts with Apple’s market share in China of 22% in the last quarter of 2022.

Still the market has potential, even if prices of iPhones may have to come down further. According to another research firm, Canalys, India’s premium smartphone segment, defined by sale prices above $500, has doubled to 6% of overall market share last year from 3.1% in 2019, and Apple’s share of this segment was at 60.13% last year.

Harsh Kumar, an analyst at Piper Sandler, argues that India and China are quite similar in their demographics and even in their potential buying power, at least in large cities—and that India can show large numbers for Apple with some effort.

India is the second-largest smartphone market globally, both in terms of annual shipments and sales, accounting for almost 12% of the global market, according to market intelligence firm IDC. Despite this, smartphone penetration is still less than 50%—providing an unmatched potential for growth for Apple.

Navkendar Singh, an analyst at tech researcher IDC, believes that Apple’s work on channel expansion, focus on affordability through attractive trade-in programs, discounts, cash-back offers and better pricing on prior-generation models are finally bearing fruit. But the gap between Apple and other models is still quite wide—the average selling price of a smartphone in India was $206 last year, excluding taxes, vs. $898 for an iPhone, according to Canalys.

But the price of Apple’s cheapest model can go below $500 with discounts. A larger manufacturing base with a thriving component ecosystem in India could bring prices down a bit further.

India is at the forefront of Apple’s efforts to decouple from China’s factory floor but may even prove itself as a growth market—with some conditions applied, of course.



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Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”

Jeddah

Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”

Riyadh

“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.

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