Apple’s strategy of offering a more affordable iPhone seems to have worked wonders with CEO Tim Cook announcing record quarter earnings with the iPhone 11 showing double digit growth in markets like India.
Research firm Canalys said the “cheaper iPhone 11 and excitement around its dual and triple cameras” had helped Apple register its best performance in India, shipping over 925000 iPhones in Q4 2019, growing by over 200% annually. This gave Apple the sixth slot in India behind Oppo, its highest rank in India since Q4 2013. For the full year, Canalys said, Apple shipped 2.0 million iPhones versus 1.6 million in 2018.
Cook said this was Apple’s “highest quarterly revenue ever, fueled by strong demand for our iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, and all-time records for Services and Wearables”.
“During the holiday quarter our active installed base of devices grew in each of our geographic segments and has now reached over 1.5 billion. We see this as a powerful testament to the satisfaction, engagement and loyalty of our customers — and a great driver of our growth across the board.”
The iPhone, Cook said in the earnings call, recorded a revenue of $56 billion dollars. “Again, that’s up 8% over a year ago, thanks to the exceptional demand for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. In fact, iPhone 11 was our top-selling model every week during the December quarter, and the three new models were our three most popular iPhones,” the Apple CEO said, adding: “We had double-digit growth in many developed markets, including the U.S., the U.K., France, and Singapore, and also grew double digits in emerging markets led by strong performances in Brazil, mainland China, India, Thailand, and Turkey.”
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Canalys Analyst Madhumita Chaudhary said: “. The new iPhones have appealed not just to current iPhone users looking to upgrade, but also to value-conscious premium phone purchasers that are now presented with a formidable price-alternative to the Samsung or OnePlus flagships.”
The iPhone 11 has a launch price lower than last year’s iPhone XS and this helped push up sales in price sensitive markets like India. Though Apple did not give a break up of the numbers in India, Bloomberg had recently reported that iPhone shipments in India grew 6 per cent in 2019 compared to the 43 per cent drop it saw last year. The discounted price of the iPhone XR is also raking in good sales for this budget model.
Interestingly, the iPad are also doing well in India. “Mac and iPad generated $7.2 and $6 billion in revenue respectively, and the high level of customer satisfaction and loyalty for both products drove the active installed base of both Mac and iPad to new records in all geographic segments. For iPad, we saw growth in key emerging markets like Mexico, India, Turkey, Poland, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam,” Cook said in the earnings call.
CFO Luca Maestri said Apple was increasing its “target for paid subscriptions and aim to reach 600 million before the end of calendar 2020”. This is because the company already has 480 million paid subscriptions across services, “up 120 million from a year ago” and expects to hit its goal of surpassing the 500 million mark already during the March quarter.
Another significant development is that Apple recorded growth in China after a long time. Cook said the iPhone had “double-digit growth in Mainland China”. He also said the company was prepared for any impact from Coronavirus on its supply chain. “We do have some suppliers in the Wuhan area. For all of the suppliers, there are alternate sources and we’re obviously working on mitigation plans to make up any expected production loss.” Reopening of factories after Chinese New Year has been moved from the end of this month to February 10 in some of the impact areas.
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