Why the iPhone won’t be as popular as Android in Emerging Markets?

iphone5-front-backAs much as we see many hipsters and people of importance flaunt their iPhone, we cannot change the fact that Android dominates the Indian markets by a huge margin. So, is it something that Android is doing right? Personally, I think its more about Apple doing it wrong. Below, I have listed a few reasons on why the iPhone simply can’t overtake Android in India.


Right from the first iPhone, Apple has always priced the iPhone at a premium. As brands like Xiaomi, Gionee and ASUS are offering quality phones at lucrative prices, the price trends Apple sets are not positive in any way. Every year the cost of the iPhone increases and somewhere its blamed on the rupee-dollar conversion rate. Still, most customers will tend to ask themselves — why pay so much for an iPhone when you can get a phone with similar specs at half the price (cost of two 32GB Nexus 5 is somewhat equal to the cost of one 32GB iPhone 5s). Another fact to consider is that we’re paying top-dollar for an iPhone without the kind of after-sales support that people living in countries where Apple Stores are available enjoy.

Dual SIM

Unlike the US and many other countries, one doesn’t need to buy a mobile phone through a network carrier in India; as both the phone and a network connection are sold independently. Also, it is very cheap to get a SIM connection in India. As a result many people tend to use dual SIM phones. It can be for a multitude of reasons — to get better connectivity in remote areas, to save money by choosing different operators that offer competitive data and talk plans, to keep separate business and private numbers, and so on. Thus, for them them this is a real bummer. Having said that, very few flagship phones come with two SIM slots. But since [tp lang=”en” only=”y”]Apple[/tp][tp not_in=”en”]Apple[/tp] doesn’t really make a cheaper iPhone (all cheaper iPhones are in fact flagships from the past sold at a lower price), so their products are completely unreachable to this market.

Better localised/Cloud services

We all know what a disaster Apple maps turned out to be since Apple launched it from iOS 6. Apple CEO, Tim Cook even publicly apologized for it. The maps have seem to gotten better in the US, but in India it hardly works. Compare this to Google Maps which work almost flawlessly in India. Even the Find My iPhone feature uses Apple Maps. So, good luck searching your phone if it goes missing in a whole patch of land with no street/lanes. More like a treasure hunt, huh?. Next, if you ask Siri for location-related information, she replies that she can’t look up that information in your country. Whereas Google Now has already tied up with many directory services to provide you phone numbers & locations. Plus, Google Now understands the Indian accent way better than Siri does. No prizes for guessing which service you ought to be using.


Firstly, an honest confession, the one time I missed this feature on my iPhone was when my friends were transferring notes on their phones to copy during an exam. Besides, a lot of people use Bluetooth to transfer photos, songs, videos between phones. Here, the iPhone falls back as one needs to download the song and transfer it via iTunes or purchase it from the store. Although transfer of pictures has become easier though as people use IM’s like Whatsapp to do so, it it may not be a deadlock anymore, but some people still haven’t given up the habit of using Bluetooth to swap files.


If at all your iPhone display cracks, then be ready to shell out a cool 20,000 bucks to replace the handset from an Apple Authorised Service Provider. Basically, any repair work for the iPhone will be a costly affair as at the same cost one can buy a good Android phone altogether.

5 thoughts on “Why the iPhone won’t be as popular as Android in Emerging Markets?”

  1. I’d also like to add customization to your list. Unless you jailbreak it(therefor destroying warranty and Apple support) you are limited to the Apple store and it’s overpriced apps. Whereas with Android you can download anything you want, change almost any settings, put a different operating system, anything you want to do you can.

  2. It does seem to be popular in China, as people are paying large sums of money (outrageous sums) to get it now before it comes out.

  3. The main reason why iPhone wont get that much popularity is mainly because of the lack of apps as Android. I have both an android phone and an iphone, but for simple example, I cant even install file manager apps in iOS .

    Also, rooting iOs is far more difficult, and there is less scope of customization.


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