Apple bets on emerging markets like India to boost sales
Apple was the second biggest revenue generating brand in India last year
Chief Executive Officer of Apple Tim Cook waves during the opening of Apple’s first retail store in India, in Mumbai on April 18, 2023. (Photo: Getty Images)
Apple said iPhone sales rose 1.5 per cent to $51.3 billion (£41bn) for its fiscal second quarter even as global smartphone shipments fell 13 per cent in January to March, according to research firm Canalys, whose data showed Apple gained market share from Android phones.
Apple said it set sales records in several countries across South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
“We’re putting efforts in a number of these markets and really see, particularly given our low share and the dynamics of the demographics, a great opportunity for us in those markets,” Cook told investors during a conference call.
India is perhaps Apple’s biggest focus. The company recently opened its first two retail stores there, in Mumbai and Delhi, and while Apple does not disclose revenue for the country, Cook told investors that it set a quarterly record and percentage growth was in very strong double digits year-over-year.
“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,” Cook said on the conference call.
Apple was the second biggest revenue generating brand in India in 2022, second only to Samsung as it gained 18 per cent of the total value of smartphone shipments, according to research firm Counterpoint.
For Apple, selling an iPhone in an emerging market represents more than just the sale of one device – it represents the chance to get consumers hooked on Apple devices and services over time. Customers who start with an iPhone might later add an Apple Watch or AirPods or sign up for subscription services.
Cook said he saw opportunities for Apple in India in services but said that average revenue per user, a metric known as ARPU in the subscription business, would take time to catch up to Apple’s other markets.
Part of the reason that Apple has been able to gain market share in both emerging and developed markets is the emergence of a booming market for used iPhones.
Sales of refurbished iPhones rose 16 per cent in volume globally during 2022. India led the growth with a 19 per cent jump, according to Counterpoint, with iPhones accounting for 11 per cent of secondary smartphone sales in India.