At a time when smartphone sales have slowed down, Apple has reported another record growth in India during the March quarter with double-digit growth.

Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer, Apple, said India is an incredibly exciting market which is at a tipping point given the growing middle class population. 

“Looking at the business in India, we did set a quarterly record, grew very strong, double digits year-over-year. So it was quite a good quarter for us, taking a step back, India is an incredibly exciting market. It’s a major focus for us. I was just there, and the dynamism in the market, the vibrancy is unbelievable,” Cook said during the quarterly earnings call.

Shifting base

Apple’s positive commentary on India comes at a time when the tech giant has commenced shifting its supply chain to India. Last year, Apple announced that it is all set to commence manufacturing iPhone 14 in India, just days after its unveiling. Cook was in India last month to launch Apple’s first retail store in Mumbai and Delhi.

“Overall, I couldn’t be more delighted and excited by the enthusiasm I’m seeing for the brand there (in India). There are a lot of people coming into the middle class, and I really feel that India is at a tipping point, and it’s great to be there,” he said.

Apple’s growth in India comes at a time when the overall smartphone market has slowed down. The smartphone market in India saw a 16 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) decline, with 31 million smartphones being shipped to the region. This is the lowest first-quarter shipment in four years, according to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker preliminary data. 

Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC, said, “India’s macroeconomic factors should gradually be favouring a brand like Apple.  Apple remains the aspirational brand and users are increasingly finding it within their budget. We are seeing a rise in ultra-premium smartphone sales, sales of SUVs, and sales of premium real estate which is creating a favourable scenario for Apple. Of course, the brand is also proactively responding to this and increasing its commitment in the country.”

Dipanjan Chatterjee, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester, said: “Much of Apple’s future growth potential will be determined by the two most populous nations in the world. China is getting back on track post-Coid from both a supply and demand perspective. India, where the company has a slim sub-5 per cent share (but a high share of the premium market), holds excellent revenue promise and serves as a supply hedge for iPhone production.“