Apple’s India push is already paying off
Don’t expect Apple to slow down its India push any time soon. Sales there are looking goooood.
The iPhone-maker said its revenue grew by “double digits” in the world’s fastest growing smartphone market during March, according to second quarter 2017 earnings released early Wednesday local time.
“We set a new March record for India,” CEO Tim Cook said, avoiding any specific numbers. Apple has been tight-lipped about its exact Indian earnings, much like other parts of its portfolio.
Cook, who paid his maiden visit to India as CEO of Apple last year, said the company is continuing to strengthen its “local presence across the ecosystem” in the “remarkable country.”
“We’re optimistic about our future in this remarkable country with its very large, young, tech-savvy population, fast-growing economy and proving 4G network infrastructure,” he added.
Things could further improve in the coming months for Apple, which is preparing to manufacture the iPhones locally in the nation.
This could come in handy, given that a heavy import duty imposed on iPhones by the Indian government makes the smartphone unusually expensive in the country. The iPhone models the company assembles at its India factory will not be subjected to local import duties.
“We’ve [got a] ton of energy going into the country on a number of fronts,” Cook said, answering an analyst’s query about Apple’s roadmap for India.
Part of Cook’s strategy to gain a foothold in India is the country’s improving 4G network infrastructure. Last year, Apple partnered with Reliance Jio, a new telecom operator from India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, to offer a year’s worth of unlimited 4G data to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus customers.
According to marketing research firm Counterpoint, as many as 200 million 4G-capable smartphones will be sold in India in the next five years.
“The 4G network started rolling out in the last quarter of 2016, but they are growing at a speed I have not seen anywhere else in the world.” Cook said. “It’s truly impressive.”
Faster internet access also means that people would be able to engage more with Apple’s bouquet of services. Or so says the trend.
Even as the 4G network is yet to gain mass penetration in India, a recent study by Nokia found that Indians are already consuming as much as 70 percent of data as their counterparts in developed markets.
“We’re bringing all the things we brought to other markets that we have eventually done well in — channels, and stores.
“There are ton of things going on there and we agree that we are under penetrated there though our growth rates are good … really good,” he added.