For Apple India, 2017 was a watershed year. It was when the company began manufacturing iPhones in India, assembling iPhone SE variants at a factory in Bengaluru’s Peenya Industrial Area.
More importantly, it was also the year when the firm’s international leadership decided the time was ripe in India to double down on its services business—everything from the App Store to Apple Music. It led to the creation of a separate India vertical, rolling up to Apple’s senior vice president of Services, Eddy Cue. The move was largely kept under wraps.
The tech major put together a ‘dream team’ of industry veterans from a diverse swathe of companies that included rivals such as Nokia, Samsung, and Google, e-commerce firm Flipkart, and entertainment firm Sony Pictures, among others. The team would oversee crucial aspects of the services vertical under the leadership of Khushboo Yadav (formerly with Nokia), who was previously leading services marketing for many of Apple’s emerging markets.
Other key hires at the time included Prashant Paulose (Sony Pictures) and Mansha Tandon (PepsiCo), who assumed key roles to develop the Apple Music and Movies department. Ashutosh Sharma (LeEco) and Neha Sharma Sabharwal (Google) were hired to oversee the App Store.
For Apple, the services arm was the missing link that would enable it to monetise its entire installed base installed base Installed base Installed base refers to the number of units of a product that are actually in use at a given period, which in Apple's case often include refurbished devices as well , according to a former Apple India executive involved in the efforts to strengthen the services team. This former executive and others quoted requested anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The vertical, which had already been showing promise in its established markets such as the US, gave the smartphone maker a newer, more significant opportunity to grow overall revenue. iPhone sales had begun to plateau begun to plateau The Ken Apple needs India. Does India want Apple? Read more , and by selling recurring subscriptions to things people could use on their iPhones, Apple was creating a fat-margin business for years to come.
In India, it had an even more compelling business case. Thanks to the country’s high taxation, the hardware lineup, from iPhones to MacBooks, were among the most expensive among the most expensive India Today iPhone 13 is most expensive in Brazil, India and other countries, cheapest in the US Read more anywhere in the world.