Apple sold over a million devices in India for the first time in a quarter between October and December 2020, the company announced, driven by sales of iPhone 11 and iPhone XR models. Overall, Apple posted an all-time record revenue of $111.4 Bn which is a significant 21% jump from the numbers seen in the same quarter in 2019.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said India was one of the fastest emerging markets for the company though more work needs to be done. “This is particularly the case in some of the emerging markets where we’re proud of how we’ve done… If you take India for example, we doubled our business last quarter compared to a year ago but our absolute level of business there is still quite low relative to the size of the opportunity.”
While he admitted that Apple’s market share is quite low in India, he felt the company has improved from the year ago quarter. “Our business roughly doubled over that period of time, so we feel very good about the trajectory.”
Smartphone market research firms such as Counterpoint and and CyberMedia also reported that Apple improved the sale of iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 12 and the newer iPhone SE units. Overall, the company shipped more than 3.2 Mn iPhones in 2020, translating to a 60% spike compared to 2019.
The growth coincides with the launch of Apple’s ecommerce store in India in September 2020. The online store added to Apple’s ambition to manufacture and sell in India at cheaper prices with better financing options, student discounts and direct customer support.
Apple is looking to further diversify the production of Mac, iPads, and iPhones by moving manufacturing from China and Taiwan to India and Vietnam. The company will start production of iPhone 12, 5G models, in India within the fourth quarter.
The Cupertino-based electronics giant had started manufacturing iPhones in India for the first time in 2017, with the iPhone SE at Bengaluru’s Wistron facility, which suffered damage due to worker-led violence in 2020. It remains to be seen whether that has an impact on Apple’s local production in India.
Apple later expanded its India manufacturing base with Foxconn’s plant in Chennai. Last year in October, Apple started manufacturing the iPhone XR locally in India, and reports suggest it would be manufacturing the iPhone 12 series in India too.