According tomedia Outlet Apple Insider, Apple’s failure to gain a foothold in India (Samsung and Chinese brands have outsold the latter) have been overruled by a new study. The study showed that the iPhone accounted for more than 75 percent of all high-end smartphone sales in India in the fourth quarter, while the iPad, Apple Watch and AirPod also performed strongly. In addition to “double-digit” growth, Apple is expanding production in India.
Apple’s Rapid Transformation in India
Apple’s iPhone sales in India are reported to be lagging behind Samsung’s and Stepheight’s high-end Chinese OnePlus brands by the end of 2018, and the company also has brands such as Realme, OPPO and Vivo.
“Apple doesn’t have enough confidence in India’s manufacturing system at the moment to build factories and move some of its manufacturing out of China,” IDC analyst Navkendar Singh said at the time. A year later, however, Apple’s fortunes in India took a dramatic turn. IDC’s Singh noted that Apple “managed to find growth in the second half” after “relatively slow” growth in the first half due to the appeal of the iPhone 11 and the preferential prices for the iPhone XR and earlier iPhone models.
The report said iPhone sales in India outstripped samsung and OnePlus, accounting for 75.6 per cent of all high-end smartphone sales of more than $500 (Rs 36,000).
Earlier, Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said on the company’s recent earnings conference call that the company had “achieved double-digit growth and tripled in many developed markets, including the US, UK, France and Singapore”. Strong performances in Brazil, China, India, Thailand and Turkey led to digital growth in emerging markets. “
Apple’s rapid growth in India is not limited to mobile phones. Cook also noted that “high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty” “push the active installation community of Macs and iPads to new records across all geographic regions,” noting that “for iPads, we have seen growth in major emerging markets such as Mexico, India, Turkey, Poland, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines and Vietnam.” “
Singh also pointed to strong sales of the 2018 iPad in India, saying: “As the tablet market is consolidating its position as the top five suppliers, it has helped Apple gain a share of the high-end market.” In addition, Apple has been able to win several large commercial deals this year, further cementing its position in the business world. “
IDC also noted strong growth in wearables, noting that “Apple Watches and AirPods are popular with Indian consumers.” The apple Watch Series 3 price cuts and promotional discounts offered by the Apple Watch Series 5’s bank and electronic retailer channels have made the Apple Watch Series 5 popular among consumers. “
Apple partnered with foundry maker Wistron in 2017 to start making iPhones for the Indian market for the first time. In the summer of that year, the locally produced iPhone went on sale in various cities in India, with the words “Apple designed in California, assembled in India”.
Last October, Apple began making the iPhone XR at a Foxconn plant near Chennai, India, and plans to expand production to include the latest iPhone 11 models. It is reported that India’s production can save more than 20% of the production costs.
Karn Chauhan, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, also said last summer that Foxconn’s labor costs in China were three times higher than in India.
Apple is reportedly not only making handsets for India’s domestic market, but also plans to export devices from India to other markets, including Europe. This is part of a $1bn investment in India aimed at diversifying production outside India.
Tensions over a trade war between The U.S. and China have intensified those plans, which could hurt Apple’s imports from China, but it also gives the company more options to meet global demand for its products that have been disrupted by an outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus. The size and proficiency of Apple’s global operations gives it the option slack that other manufacturers lack in addressing plant closures and other supply chain disruptions.