Strong iPhone growth will help Apple report its best year in India

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Image by Ambuj dixit | Bigstockphoto

iPhone-maker Apple is expected to report its best year in India with $3 billion in revenues by the end of its ongoing fiscal ending September 30, up around 60% year-on-year driven by strong iPhone sales in the world’s second-largest smartphone market, as per India-based market trackers.

The world’s most valuable company follows an October-September fiscal year.

Apple’s revenue this year is expected to be higher than the 29% increase seen last year, CyberMedia Research (CMR) revealed in its analysis.

“CMR’s early estimates point to Apple’s revenue for the entire year to be $3 billion in India,” Prabhu Ram, head – industry intelligence at CyberMedia Research (CMR), was quoted as saying by the Economic Times. 

CMR estimates that Apple India shipped devices worth $2.9 billion in the first three quarters through June.

Apple’s revenue in India increased 29% to Rs 13,755.8 crore ($1.86 billion) in September 2020, as per documents sourced by business intelligence platform Tofler.

Apple shipments recorded 138% growth year-on-year in the April-June quarter of this year. Apple iPhone 11 accounted for two-thirds of its shipments. Apple enjoyed a significant 70% market share in the super-premium smartphone segment (Rs 50000-100000).

Apple’s remarkable growth was primarily driven by the start of the academic season and new bundled offers that Apple aggressively promoted, CMR said in its latest Q2 report.

“The company now has a strong product line-up across price tiers; that helps it cater to consumers of all hues – including first-time buyers and those seeking to upgrade to higher price tiers,” Ram said.

Counterpoint Research separately said that Apple witnessed 144% on-year growth in Q2 2021. The brand maintained its leading position in the ultra-premium segment (Rs 45,000 or ~$650) with more than 49% share. “Continued strong demand for the iPhone 11 coupled with aggressive offers on the iPhone 12 series were the driving factors for this growth,” the market tracker said.

On July 28, Apple said that India, along with other emerging markets like Vietnam and Latin America, grew in double digits in the June quarter, driven by strong sales of iPhones.

“Today, Apple is reporting a very strong quarter with double-digit revenue growth across our product and services categories and in every geographic segment. We set a new June quarter revenue record of $81.4 billion, up 36% from last year, and the vast majority of markets we tracked grew double digits, with especially strong growth in emerging markets, including India, Latin America and Vietnam,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the earnings call.

The chief executive had then said that results in these countries were for the entire line of products that the company has, implying that iPhones across price ranges, including the entry-level, have done well.

“…keep in mind, we still do have SE in the line. We launched it a year ago, but it’s still in the line today and is sort of our entry price point. And so I’m pleased with how all of them are doing, and I think we need sort of that range of price points to accommodate the types of people that we want to accommodate,” Cook added.

While the Indian market has been growing fast, the company’s revenue contributes only around 1% towards the global revenue. It posted a 36% year on year increase in revenue at $81.4 billion in the April-June quarter. Net revenue for the nine-month period was $282.4 billion.

Apple has around 4% market share in India in terms of volumes.

Apple is expected to record its best annual performance in India ever since it started selling iPhones in terms of devices sold.

The growth is driven by Apple’s strong aspirational brand pull, increased local iPhone assembly, and aggressive marketing initiatives, including occasional discounts and student offers, analysts said.

Apple is currently working hard to shift a part of iPhone production away from China and reduce its dependence on the country. The company’s plan to set up a complete smartphone manufacturing ecosystem in India is already gathering pace, with around nine partners entering to help the iPhone maker during the pandemic.

Key Apple suppliers – Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron – were among the 16 firms approved by the MEITY for the $6.65 billion PLI scheme to boost domestic smartphone production over the next five years.

Apple is also preparing to open its offline retail stores in India to drive further growth, having already launched its online store. 

The company is reportedly planning to shift tablet production to markets such as India and Vietnam. Additionally, it is looking to start production of Airpods and Macbooks in the country. Apple’s global partners have already begun the process to establish operations in India. BYD Electronics (for iPads), Luxshare Precision Industry (for AirPods), Quanta Computer (for MacBooks) and AT&S and Avary Holding (Shenzhen) (for PCBs) have reportedly registered their companies in India.

Related article: Apple doubles India business; plan to open retail stores to drive growth

Experts say 2021 to be Apple’s best year for iPhone business in India

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