Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that India was among the emerging markets where the company is under pressure because of weak currencies pushing up the prices of its products. Answering a question in the earnings call, soon after the company announced its Q4 results, Cook said Apple’s business in India has been flat in the quarter when it would obviously like to “see that be a huge growth”.
The Apple CEO said the currency weakness has been “part of our challenge” in India. But, Cook said, he views these as “speed bumps along a very long journey” and the long-term is “very, very strong there”. He attributed this bullish outlook to the expectation that a large number of Indians will move into the middle class and the government has really focused on reform with some very bold moves.
Asked if Apple found itself at a disadvantage in relation to rivals by not producing much of its products in India, Cook said the company has had “great productive discussions with the Indian government”. “I fully expect that at some point, they will agree to allow us to bring our stores into the country.” He said adding that the “discussions are going quite well”. India is among the countries were Apple does not have its own store, stuck because of the restriction on single-brand retail.
Cook said there were import duties “in some or most of the product categories” Apple was in and that is an area it was giving feedback on. Cook said the manufacturing of entry-level iPhones in India has gone well and he was was very bullish on India and Apple’s ability to do well there. In countries like India, Apple usually keeps a buffer at its price to take the blow of currency fluctuation.
Apple posted a quarterly revenue of $62.9 billion, up 20 per cent in comparison to Q4 2017. In this, international sales accounted for 61 per cent revenue, while services revenue reached “an all-time high of $10 billion”. CFO Luca Maestri attributed the jump to “revenue records for iPhone and wearables and all-time quarterly records for Services and Mac.”
Earlier, Cook said he was happy with the growth in Mac and iPad numbers in India.