Apple’s Q1 results, which saw iPhone sales clock at 74.8 million in the quarter, also signaled that the company plans to take the Indian market a lot more seriously. The news comes even as Apple forecast a drop in revenue in Q2, its first in 13 years as iPhone sales slow down.
According to Apple CFO Luca Maestri, iPhone sales were up 76 per cent in India for the quarter, while sales grew around 45 per cent in Korea, Middle-East and Africa. In Mainland China, sales grew by 18 per cent. Based on the numbers shared by Apple, India appears to be the region where sales have increased the most, despite the exorbitant pricing for Apple’s iPhone 6s.
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Apple’s earnings call also noted that two-thirds of the company’s revenue is now generated outside of the US, so clearly emerging markets is where the future lies for the company.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in the earnings call that the company plans to invest in India for a long term.
“India is incredibly exciting. It is one of the fastest growing economies, and is also the third largest smartphone market in the world, after China and US. In India, the median age for the population is 27, in China that’s nearly 36 years. I see the demographics there being incredibly great for a consumer brand, and for people that really want the best product,” Cook said.
He added that the company has been “putting increasingly more energy in India”. Apple’s iPhone 6s witnessed its fastest launch in India.
Cook pointed out that on the revenue front, Apple’s India revenue rose by 38 per cent. “However we faced currency issues in India as well, which does affect pricing. But we believe the government is in interested in economic reforms,” he added.
Apple has already applied for permission to set up its exclusive retail stores in India. According to a report by data firm Counterpoint Research, Apple shipped nearly 800,000 iPhones in the October-December quarter in India, one of its best ever, considering that Apple’s total India shipments for fiscal year 2015 stood at 1.7 million.
Counterpoint’s senior analyst Tarun Pathak said the reason of Apple’s growth was due to price-cuts and aggressive marketing campaigns, which included EMIs and buyback schemes.
Apple was also more flexible with its pricing for the latest iPhone 6s series in India and offered considerable discounts on the new products, which is rare.