Apple’s October-December quarter for India was its best ever in the country with iPhone shipments crossing 800,000, according to research firm Counterpoint Research. This is significant growth if one considers that Apple shipped a total of 1.7 million iPhones in India for its entire fiscal year 2015, which ends in October. Apple will reveal results for Q1 of 2016 on January 26.
Counterpoint’s senior analyst Tarun Pathak said Apple’s sales grew due to price-cuts and aggressive marketing campaigns, which included EMIs and buyback schemes. Last quarter, even the latest iPhone 6s series. which launched at a considerable markup in India, saw rare discounts, unusual for new Apple devices.
“India saw one of the fastest rollout of Apple’s flagship during the quarter. Though the initial sales were hurt by the steep pricing, and the overall portfolio pricing wasn’t as stable as compared to a year ago, it picked up pace along the quarter. A wider distribution network than ever before also helped boost sales; Apple now has five distributors in the country and thus has more reach,” said Pathak.
Counterpoint’s data shows that Apple’s numbers were also up thanks to the sale of older iPhone models like iPhone 5s, which saw a massive price-cut and was retailing at a price-segment of Rs 20,000 during the quarter. Pathak adds that the price-cuts, coupled with aspirational value attached to the Apple brand, helped it win over more users.
While India’s smartphone market is dominated by Android OS with players like Samsung and Micromax holding on to the top two positions, Apple still generates considerable buzz. More recently, the company indicated that it is taking the Indian market much more seriously and will be bringing in Apple Stores to the country soon.
“India is now one of the high potential market in APAC region beyond China for Apple, not only in terms of volume, but also the massive scale and opportunity that lies ahead,” says Pathak.
An Apple spokesperson recently confirmed that the company had filed an application with the the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to set up its retail outlets. The development takes place comes after the government relaxed the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for single brand retailing.