Info-tech

A renewed India focus gets Apple India back on growth path

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on July 31, 2019

The logo of Apple Inc (file photo)   -  REUTERS

Apple India revenues are finally seeing some growth after a gap of over a year.

Apple on Tuesday night reported its fiscal third quarter 2019 earnings, earning $53.8 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $2.18, a mere 1 per cent jump year-on-year, but India contributing a fair bit to that.

“India bounced back during the quarter. We returned to growth there. We are very happy with that,” said Tim Cook, CEO at Apple during an Analyst call.

“In emerging markets, we returned to growth in Mainland China, grew strong double digits in India and in Brazil, and we set new Q3 records in Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines,” he said.

Apple’s India revenues have been choppy since the time of the launch of iPhone X as existing iPhone users delayed purchases and new ones found it hard to pay the high price of the new devices. Sales of iPhones have declined over 50 per cent in the past one year.

But in the last quarter, Apple finally pulled its socks up and started focussing on Indian market with special pricing, promotions and e-commerce push.

According to Counterpoint Research, Apple sales in India grew 22 per cent in April-June quarter on the back of this aggressive sales push.

“Apple in the past few months has been aggressively competing with OnePlus and Samsung to try and lead the premium handset market in India. Both Samsung and OnePlus phones are priced much lower than that of Apple, which has made it tougher for Apple to compete in the market. However, Apple is aggressively cutting prices for its cheaper models such as iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 and iPhone XR in India to grow its share,”Anshika Jain, research analyst at Counterpoint Research said.

Apple’s flagship device of the year iPhone XS Max and last year’s flagship iPhone X Max continue to see low sales in India, given the high price tags. However, with Apple looking to manufacture more devices in India, the prices can come down for the Indian market, allowing Apple to compete better with OnePlus and Samsung.

Even globally, Apple is finding it harder to continue growing at the back of iPhones. For the first time, iPhone sales are now down to just about 50 per cent of the company’s overall revenues.

“This was our biggest June quarter ever — driven by all-time record revenue from services, accelerating growth from wearables, strong performance from iPad and Mac and significant improvement in iPhone trends,” Cook said in a press release. “These results are promising across all our geographic segments, and we’re confident about what’s ahead. The balance of calendar 2019 will be an exciting period, with major launches on all of our platforms, new services and several new products.”

The company is betting on services and wearables to grow but in India its the Macbooks and iMacs that are driving sales, especially among the students community, driven by special discounted prices by Apple and e-commerce players.

Apple will include sales for the 2019 iPhone lineup and potentially two new subscription services: Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade in the next quarter and is forecasting Q4 revenues between $61 and $64 billion. But it’ll have to sharpen its focus on India to get its services revenue growing.

Published on July 31, 2019

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