Apple turning to third-party distributors to boost iPhone sales in India, says WSJ

Apple turning to third-party distributors to boost iPhone sales in India, says WSJ

With the lack of carrier subsidies limiting adoption in India, Apple has turned to independent distributors to sell its iPhone throughout the country, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The paper reported that Apple has tapped Ingram Micro and Redington to provide additional distribution points beyond telecom providers. For its part, Redington confirmed that iPhones had been added to its product list. The partnership should help the iPhone maker reach customers outside of the country’s major cities.

Though Apple is believed to have worked with the distributors selling other products in the past, this is reportedly the first time that it has turned to them for help with the iPhone. It has had a tough sell for the iPhone in India because the mobile phone industry there largely avoids subsidies. As such, a fully-priced iPhone is out of reach for most consumers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said during an earnings call in July that the “multilayer distribution” system in India has added to its costs in the country. “You know of course I love India, but I believe that Apple has some higher potential in the intermediate term in some other countries,” he said.

The company’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 5, has yet to arrive in India, but some reports have suggested it could arrive before the end of the month.

We’ve contacted Apple for comment on its distribution operations in India and will update if we hear back from them.

Image credit: Asif Akbar

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