From 2007, when the first iPhone wasn’t even launched in the country, to the first global launch and availability phase, India has emerged as a key strategic market for Apple. This is not just about having a resilient supply chain; Cupertino giant Apple has been doing fairly good business in India. Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “Looking at the business in India, we set a quarterly revenue record and grew very strong double digits year over year, so we feel very good about how we performed. That’s despite the headwinds.”
2022 was one of the best years for Apple in India as the company’s shipments grew 11% YoY, which helped the company record its highest volume share of 5.5%. For the said quarter, Apple shipped 20 lakh iPhones in India, of which the newly introduced iPhone 14 series made up 59% of the iPhone sales. It even sold 2 lakh iPads in the same period dominated by iPad Pro 2022 making up 30% and iPad 9 series contributing 27% of the tablet sales for Apple as per CyberMedia Reports.
However, due to the supply chain constraints arising from the COVID resurgence in China, and consequently longer-than-usual wait times on the 14 Pro models, Apple did register an 18% quarter-on-quarter growth but was down 7% year on year. Prabhu Ram, Head – Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research told Business Today, “Aggressive marketing offers and promotions did help in pushing the older generation iPhones, including, the iPhone 13 series.”
Post COVID opportunity:
As Apple did fairly well through COVID in India, on the opportunity post-COVID, Tim said, “I’m even more bullish now, hopefully on the other side of it. That’s the reason why we are investing there by bringing retail there, bringing the online store there and putting out significant amount of energy there. I’m very bullish on India.” He added “India is a hugely exciting market for us and a major focus. We brought the online store there in 2020. We will soon bring Apple Retail there. We are putting a lot of emphasis on the market. There’s been a lot going from financing options and trade-ins to make products more affordable and give people more options to buy.”
Apple Retail Store was first planned to open in 2021 but the pandemic and other economic uncertainties delayed the plans and the company’s first flagship 22,000 sq ft store in Mumbai and is now expected to launch by March 2023. As per the information available, a second store (10000-12000 sq ft) is being planned in New Delhi.
On the back of Apple’s investments in India towards making its products affordable and accessible in offline and online retail, Ram of CMR added “Apple’s increasing share of upstream domestic value addition under Make in India will continue to fuel its strategic growth in India. At CyberMedia Research, we continue to see a strong India growth momentum in 2023 driven by its upcoming flagship retail store initiatives.”
Announcing the financial results today for its fiscal 2023 first quarter ended December 31, 2022, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $117.2 billion, down 5 percent year over year.