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Apple sees India as extraordinary market, lot of people moving into the middle class: CEO Tim Cook

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Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook has identified India as a particularly promising area for the corporation. During the June-September quarter, Apple set an all-time revenue record in India. India has emerged as a major focus for Apple, with double-digit growth.

“In India, we set an all-time revenue record and grew by double digits.” It’s a very exciting market for us, and it’s a major focus of ours. We have a low market share in a vast market, so there appears to be a lot of headroom… “We see an extraordinary market—a lot of people moving into the middle class,” Apple CEO Tim Cook remarked this morning during the company’s earnings call.

In India, Apple has had a very eventful year. In April of this year, the Cupertino company opened its first Apple Retail Store in India, in Mumbai, followed by one in Delhi. Tim Cook went to India for the relaunch of both stores after a six-year hiatus, with numerous Apple fans lined up outside the outlets hours before they opened. Cook goes on to say, “Lots of positives, we put two retail stores there and they are doing better than we anticipated—it’s still early going but they are off to a good start and I couldn’t be happier with how things are going at the moment.” Cook also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his April visit to India.

According to a recent Counterpoint analysis, Apple had the highest ever smartphone shipments in India in the June-September quarter of 2023, compared to the market’s flat YoY growth. “During a period of rapid growth in India, Apple recorded 34% YoY growth.” “The third quarter of 2023 was also the best quarter for Apple’s shipments in the country, with 2.5 million units shipped,” adds Counterpoint Research Analyst Shubham Singh.

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India’s smartphone market, which has been dropping for nearly a year, is finally showing signs of recovery, with a steady increase due to the Christmas season. Surprisingly, the trend of ultra-premiumization (>Ra 45,000, $540) is picking up steam with each passing quarter. The segment gained 44% year on year in the June-September quarter of 2023, owing to the availability of simple financing alternatives, the adoption of numerous incentive programs in the market, and rising consumer demands for cutting-edge technology.

In addition, since its global premiere in September of this year, the recently announced iPhone 15 Pro Max has been in high demand throughout the country. For the first time, Apple has begun manufacture of the latest iPhone models (iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro) in India ahead of the global debut.

While Apple has not disclosed India-specific data for this quarter, the company’s regulatory filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) for the fiscal year 2022-23 indicate that Apple’s India business has reached a new revenue milestone of Rs 50,000 crore. The company’s revenue increased by 48% to Rs 49,321. Apple India increased their net profit by 76% to Rs 2,229 crore. And, while iPhones drive Apple’s worldwide and Indian sales, revenue from other products is growing.