With Data Breaches Aplenty, Apple Hard Sells ‘Privacy’ in India
Apple had recently launched a new marketing campaign centred around its commitment to privacy.
Apple had recently launched a new marketing campaign centred around its commitment to privacy.(Photo Courtesy: YouTube/Apple)

With Data Breaches Aplenty, Apple Hard Sells ‘Privacy’ in India

Amid all the hullabaloo over privacy, where giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter face intense scrutiny and hefty penalties from governments for compromising users' personal information, Apple takes a proactive approach towards maintaining strong security hygiene around its device and app ecosystem.

Be it processing data on the device or minimising collection of personal data, Apple is setting the right example for other technology companies and how to conduct business.

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To highlight its reasoning, Apple has a clear message for its users — ‘we don’t track or share user data with other companies and protect their data.’

This is probably the reason why consumers, at least in the West have preferred to go with Apple, and that faith reflects in iPhone sales statistics over the past couple of years.

Changing Buyer Sentiment

But with the launch of the $999 iPhone X in 2017, markets have changed their pattern as people are now comfortable using one device for more than two-three years. This has resulted in plateaued sales of iPhones in the US and European markets.

Also, when it comes to privacy, Chinese tech giant Huawei takes a leaf out of Apple’s book.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Huawei founder, Ren Zhengfei cites the Cupertino-based giant as ‘role model’ on data privacy, and says will not provide data that may compromise its users’ privacy.

People would argue that Facebook and Google’s business model makes them focus more on connecting millions rather data privacy, unlike Apple. This strategy by former duo has resulted in blatant abuse of user’s data.

There’s a reason why people say “there are no free lunches” and Apple merely justifies this proverb with its business strategy. The company has repeatedly stated, it’s not interested in making money off its users’ data.

Instead, it relies on premium pricing of its products to deliver privacy to its consumers which has made the company billions of dollars over decades.

Time to Focus on India

This explains the success of Android in countries like India, heavily relying on its ‘free-ish’ nature and running on affordable devices, while Apple continues to work the other way around.

The company’s marketing push is seen as an attempt to educate Indian consumers about data privacy and make them understand the worth of their data. To vouch for its approach, Apple introduced the ‘Sign in With Apple’, a feature that will keep third party applications/services from getting users’ actual email.

But merely selling privacy without tuning its strategy for the market isn’t going to help Apple make inroads into India.
Apple talks highly of its privacy policies.
Apple talks highly of its privacy policies.
(Photo: Apple screen grab)

Apple claims to have grown in India over the last quarter, most of that success has come ever since the iPhone Xr was being offered at discounted prices and iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 have been available for less than Rs 30,000 in the country.

This was made possible after Apple started local assembling of some of its iPhone models and it is expected to add iPhone X to the assembly lineup in the coming months.

Such tweaks in strategy are obviously going to make a change and Apple clearly knows it now.

In order to make a significant dent in the market, the Cupertino-based giant needs to realise that Indians have lived on 'freebies’ for years (Jio for instance), and don't want to pay an exorbitant amount of money when there are cheaper alternatives available in the market.

If Apple is really serious about growing in India, it needs to find the balance between talking about privacy and at the same time, make its products affordable and accessible.

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