Apple’s positive growth in India has been validated by CEO Tim Cook — who said during a Q3 2013 earnings call that iPhone sales in India during the quarter were up 400 percent year-on-year.
Worrying figures were released by analyst firm IDC earlier this month, which showed a pretty dramatic fall in Apple’s iPhone sales during the first three months of 2013. The data indicated that Apple sold a total of 120,000 smartphones in India throughout the first quarter, a 47 percent decrease from the 230,000 sold in the last three months of 2012.
This followed IDC’s figures published in February this year, which suggested that Apple’s smartphone sales had risen by as much as 400 percent in the three months prior — giving rise to concerns that Apple’s growth in India could not be sustained.
Cook didn’t provide specific figures for Apple or iPhone sales in India, but his comment suggests that — despite reports — Apple is on an upward trajectory in India, as it steps up efforts to boost the sales of its higher-end devices in a market used to buying inexpensive feature phones. Last year, Apple turned to independent distributors to sell its iPhone throughout the country, as the lack of carrier subsidies limited adoption in India.
Apple has reportedly been keen to push its iPhone in India with more advertising as well as numerous discount schemes and monthly installment options. The company quietly launched the iPhone 5 in India in November last year.
In May this year, an analyst from Credit Suisse, Sunil Tirumalai, said that average monthly sales of the iPhone were “nearing 400,000 units per month in India”, up from between 70,000 and 80,000 units when Apple didn’t yet offer a monthly installment payment scheme.
India has been an emerging market to keep an eye on, with smartphone shipments to the country jumping 167 percent in January-April from the same period a year earlier, crossing 9.4 million units, according to research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR)
Apple today announced fiscal third quarter 2013 earnings of $35.3 billion in revenue, $6.9 billion in profit and $7.47 earnings per diluted share, beating expectations with the help of strong iPhone sales of 31.2 million units. Analysts had expected revenue of $35.01 billion and $7.32 in earnings per share.
Cook also mentioned in Apple’s earnings call that the iPad has posted double-digit unit growth in India during the quarter.
This does not come as a surprise given that shipments of tablet devices in India during the first quarter of 2013 jumped 159 percent year-on-year to account for 905,000 units, also according to CMR.