Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook on Monday said the company was in discussions on a number of things in India, including retail stores. “We fully intend to invest significantly in the country and believe it’s a great place to be,” he said in the Q1 2017 earnings call with analysts and journalists.
“Despite the demonetisation move in India that created lots of economic pressure there last quarter, despite that, we had all-time record revenue results, and so we were very happy about that,” Cook said.
However, he added that demonetisation impact has not worked its way through yet, suggesting things could get bad after a while. “It’s still definitely having some overhang.” But Cook was supportive of the move and said in the longer term, it’s a “great move”. Cook said he felt really good about how Apple is doing in India.
India also found mention when it came to “revenue records” for Apple services. Apple CFO Luca Maestri, who also joined Tim Cook on the call, said the company’s Macs and iPads also did really well in India, both recording double digit growth.
On iPad sales he said: “And we posted double-digit growth in both Mainland China and India, as we’ve expanded distribution channels in those countries and we continue to attract a very high percentage of first-time tablet buyers. We also reduced channel inventory by about 700,000 units as opposed to an increase of 900,000 units last year, and we exited the quarter near the low end of our five to seven-week target range.”
Maestri added the Apple brand continues to evoke a huge level of interest across the world because of its aspirational value. “The brand continues to be very aspirational. There are more and more people that can afford our products around the world. The middle class is growing in places like China, India, Brazil, but certainly the strong dollar doesn’t help us,” he said.
While Tim Cook didn’t specify the number of iPhones Apple shipped in India, a recent report by Counterpoint Research claims said the company shipped 2.5 million units of its phones in India. The report said a third of Apple’s total shipping in India came in the fourth-quarter following the launch of the iPhone 7.
It adds that Apple was able to capture the number 10 position in the smartphone rankings in the country during Q4 of 2016, but led the segment for premium smartphones by managing a 62 per cent share in that market.