Despite all the challenges that were thrown at Apple, the Cupertino-based tech giant made the most out of the October-December period in India.
According to Economic Times, few market research firms have reported that iPhone shipments crossed 1.5 million for Q4 2020 in India for the very first time which in turn doubled their market share to 4%.
The performance also helped Apple to witness its best year in India in terms of annual sales volume as well. The sales of iPhone in India exceeded 3.2 million in 2020 which marks an impressive 60% growth YoY. As of 2020, Apple’s share in India smartphone market clocks at 2.4%.
The research firms also mentioned that Apple’s other products, notably the MacBooks, Apple Watches and AirPods also registered a high volume of sales.
Shilpi Jain, a research analyst at Counterpoint Technology Market Research said that Apple, driven by the demand for its newly launched iPhone 12 lineup and iPhone SE 2020, for the first time ever, crossed 1.5 million shipments in a singular quarter.
She further mentioned that Apple being able to pull off the feat can be majorly attributed to its re-entry into the affordable premium segment with the iPhone SE 2020. It helped the tech giant further expand its consumer base to individuals on a budget willing to shift to the Apple ecosystem.
Also, one needs to take note of the aggressive offers Apple kept pushing during the Indian festive season which also contributed to its high growth in Q4 2020.
iPhone Sales India: Future Looks Optimistic
According to analysts, Apple will experience the minimal impact of the global component shortage that other smartphone manufacturers are currently facing. The iPhone maker has been able to maintain a steady supply up until now.
Analysts thus believe the worst is over and the upcoming quarters will see Apple hitting higher sales volumes in India.
Jain from Counterpoint said that Apple’s growth in India was very much expected since it began aggressively focusing on India from the previous year. Apple increasing its production, exports and opening its online store in the country were some evident signs of the tech giant gunning to rake bigger sales volume from the country.
However, that being said, Apple still has a long way to go when compared to Samsung and Xiaomi’s footprint in the country. These two Apple rivals have a market share of 22.2% and 25% respectively according to data from IDC. Nonetheless, the iPhone maker, leaving behind OnePlus and Samsung, managed to top the premium segment with 36% market share.
Apple’s Growth In India: A Turbulent Past
The Cupertino, California-based giant didn’t always score big in terms of sales volume in India as it did in Q4 2020. It instead has been struggling to increase its growth trajectory in the country since early 2017 when its India revenue hit a six-year-low. In 2018, the iPhone sales almost halved to 1.6 million as the iPhone X and iPhone XR faced a brutal competition from OnePlus and Samsung models which were relatively cheaper.
But all of those troubles are now tucked in the past for Apple as they have now rolled out their company-owned store and increased domestic assembly in India which in turn enables them to offer lower prices and generate more consumer demand. Currently, over 45% of iPhones sold in the country are manufactured locally.
The iPhone-maker, which posted a revenue of whopping $64.7 billion for the September quarter globally, is shiting part of its manufacturing ecosystem from China to India amid the rising US-China tensions and trade war. The Indian Government, in a bid to welcome them have approved three Apple suppliers – Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron to receive incentives for manufacturing smartphones within the country.
As Apple is now strengthening its presence which is quite evident with the increasing sales of iPhone in India, it would be interesting to see what strategy would premium smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, OnePlus, would employ to counter the fascination of owning an iPhone.