Apple ships 2.5M iPhones in India during 2016, boosted by iPhone 7 release

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in iPhone
Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones in India during the whole of 2016 -- a third of those in the fourth quarter, when the iPhone 7 launched in the country, according to Counterpoint research data released this week.




While that was a record for Apple, in the fourth quarter the company claimed just 10th place in the Indian smartphone market, Counterpoint noted. The top brands during the period were Samsung at 24 percent, Vivo at 10 percent, and Xiaomi and Lenovo, tied at 9 percent.

In fact Chinese brands like Vivo, Xiaomi, and Lenovo pulled a major upset, leaping to a combined 46 percent share of the Indian market from 14 percent a year ago. That also marks a departure from 2016 overall, when Indian brands Micromax (11 percent), Intex (7 percent), and Reliance Jio (6 percent) were all in the top five, even if Samsung was still in control with a 25 percent share.

In Q4 Apple did capture 62 percent of "premium" smartphone shipments, defined as devices costing $450 or more.

Apple has struggled to make much progress in the Indian phone market, precisely because most of its phones are too expensive for the average shopper. The company has even resorted to selling models considered obsolete in other markets.

The situation could improve in the near future if Apple manages to secure local iPhone manufacturing. Building iPhones natively would let the company avoid import fees, in turn making it possible to lower prices without cutting into high profits.

On Wednesday, a team met with government officials about the issue in what Apple described as "constructive and open dialogue." The company is believed to have a "wish list" of concessions, which could include major breaks on import taxes and duties. A government source claimed that manufacturing is "almost a done deal," and that many of Apple's demands are "workable."

Wistron, said to be Apple's first official Indian manufacturer, could be put to work on 2017 iPhone models.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    irelandireland Posts: 16,455member
    I'd imagine an iPhone made in India and sold in India may not be that much cheaper than now. Schiller has proven himself to be shrewd and arrogant when are comes to pricing. There's no reality where the new MBP aren't overpriced. Nice machines; overpriced: greed.
    edited January 26 SpamSandwichbrucemc
  • Reply 2 of 17
    India is a developing nation, many citizens are buying smartphones for the first time -- cheap Chinese knock-offs are all most can afford. As wealth builds over the years, they too will aspire to buy (real) premium brand quality products like Apple, and in turn Apple's market share will grow. This is exactly the same business model as Mercedes or Rolex. Apple is not interested in competing with Chinese junk makers - let those companies fight over the left over, low margin scraps and struggle for profitability.
    mike1caliwatto_cobrabrucemc
  • Reply 3 of 17
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,153member
    "In Q4 Apple did capture 62 percent of "premium" smartphone shipments, defined as devices costing $450 or more."

    That sentence, folks, is all that matters.

    patchythepiratelkruppanantksundaramwatto_cobrabrucemcjony0
  • Reply 4 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,078member
    ireland said:
    I'd imagine an iPhone made in India and sold in India may not be that much cheaper than now. Schiller has proven himself to be shrewd and arrogant when are comes to pricing. There's no reality where the new MBP aren't overpriced. Nice machines; overpriced: greed.
    Apple's success is surely dependent on being very high quality and profitable, is that greed?  The alternative is surely a Samsung like business approach where your R&D is Apple and high volume with low of profits is the plan.
    edited January 26 calitmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,078member

    Fatman said:
    India is a developing nation, many citizens are buying smartphones for the first time -- cheap Chinese knock-offs are all most can afford. As wealth builds over the years, they too will aspire to buy (real) premium brand quality products like Apple, and in turn Apple's market share will grow. This is exactly the same business model as Mercedes or Rolex. Apple is not interested in competing with Chinese junk makers - let those companies fight over the left over, low margin scraps and struggle for profitability.
    Totally agree.  Not to mention any attempt to have lower pricing for any given country for whatever reason would result in high volumes being purchased and resold on the black market elsewhere.  Talking of Rolex, I was amazed to read Apple's Watch is second only to Rolex in profitability, not bad for a 'failed' product, in what a couple of years from a standing start?
    edited January 26 caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    That is really not much. We are also not rich country yet but there is sold probably 15 times more phones per capita then in India.

    Why is Tim not coming here to negotiate too? They are not cheap here as well.

    Probably because our population is about of Delhi :-)
    edited January 26
  • Reply 7 of 17
    India is important for three reason:
      1. Growth potential (with admitted price obstacles)
      2. Potential market to resell used phones (with admitted regulatory obstacles)
      3. Leverage against China for manufacturing options
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    frantisek said:
    That is really not much. We are also not rich country yet but there is sold probably 15 times more phones per capita then in India.

    Why is Tim not coming here to negotiate too? They are not cheap here as well.

    Probably because our population is about of Delhi :-)
    Which country are you talking about?  The Czech Republic?
  • Reply 9 of 17
    calicali Posts: 2,905member
    MacPro said:

    Fatman said:
    India is a developing nation, many citizens are buying smartphones for the first time -- cheap Chinese knock-offs are all most can afford. As wealth builds over the years, they too will aspire to buy (real) premium brand quality products like Apple, and in turn Apple's market share will grow. This is exactly the same business model as Mercedes or Rolex. Apple is not interested in competing with Chinese junk makers - let those companies fight over the left over, low margin scraps and struggle for profitability.
    Totally agree.  Not to mention any attempt to have lower pricing for any given country for whatever reason would result in high volumes being purchased and resold on the black market elsewhere.  Talking of Rolex, I was amazed to read Apple's Watch is second only to Rolex in profitability, not bad for a 'failed' product, in what a couple of years from a standing start?
    It was my understanding that Apple became the 2nd biggest watch company in less than a year. I still believe the Edition market shouldn't be dropped.
    watto_cobraadm1
  • Reply 10 of 17
    There are 540 billionaires in the US.

    There are 213 billionaires in China.

    In India, a country with a population just shy of China's, there are only 84 billionaires.

    This simply demonstrates a level of economic opportunity that is far, far lower than China and it is India's politics and poverty (caused by their politics) which illustrates they may never be a large market for Apple.

    *2015 data:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_the_number_of_US_dollar_billionaires
    edited January 26
  • Reply 11 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,606member
    So the old argument continues. Apple must make cheap phones if it is to survive. Apple is surviving just fine in the premium market. If you sell more it means your product is better. Selling the best product you can make is the way to succeed.
    watto_cobrabrucemc
  • Reply 12 of 17
    The, so called, "race to the bottom" is no longer a valid argument.
    New Era.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,193member
    I'm going to assume that Samesung at 24% were NOT selling their S & Note series phones, but mostly Low end to mid range CHEAP phones. A market Apple really isn't in. Apple doesn't have any CHEAP phones. For Apple to even sell 2.5 million expensive iPhones in that country and there's not even a single Apple store in that country where it's mostly poor people is not shabby. Is it worth building a factory to make iPhones there so Apple can have a Apple store there? I don't know? 2.5 million is a drop in the bucket for iPhone sales. Is it really a growing market? I really don't know. I really don't see things magically changing anytime soon. Maybe Apple see's something I don't.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    There are 540 billionaires in the US.

    There are 213 billionaires in China.

    In India, a country with a population just shy of China's, there are only 84 billionaires.
    So, only billionaires purchase iPhones? That's news to me.
    adm1
  • Reply 15 of 17
    jbdragon said:
    Is it worth building a factory to make iPhones there so Apple can have a Apple store there? I don't know? 2.5 million is a drop in the bucket for iPhone sales. Is it really a growing market? I really don't know. I really don't see things magically changing anytime soon. Maybe Apple see's something I don't.
    People in India attach an aspirational value to Apple products that they probably don't to any other company or manufacturer in the computer and electronics industry space. I once worked for the South Asian branch of an international non-profit and we were tasked with helping non-profits leverage ICT better. I can never forget my surprise when I visited a non-profit in New Delhi that was working at the community level (slums and less privileged communities) and found nearly half a dozen iMacs in use for all their official, DTP work. And, this was in the year 2001.

    I have a client with nearly 80 Macs (desktops and laptops) in daily use for his office. He has a mere three to four Windows machines and hates them with a passion. Nearly all major media production houses in India use Macs in a very big way. The opportunity is so large and the market so under-served that I am seriously considering adding an Enterprise Mac services practice to our company (we are into managed IT services). 

    Coming to the recent iPhone products, there has been a massive print media campaign over the last month where Apple resellers in India have been offering the latest iPhone, iPads and Macbook Pros at hefty discounts and cashbacks through tie-ups with major credit card issuing banks. These offers have high uptake and make Apple products more affordable even for the slightly affluent section among the middle class.

    Bottom line: Apple has a great future in India and having a factory here will probably become a tipping point towards a much wider adoption of all Apple products down the line and not just iPhones.
    LoneStar88watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    cali said:
    MacPro said:

    Fatman said:
    India is a developing nation, many citizens are buying smartphones for the first time -- cheap Chinese knock-offs are all most can afford. As wealth builds over the years, they too will aspire to buy (real) premium brand quality products like Apple, and in turn Apple's market share will grow. This is exactly the same business model as Mercedes or Rolex. Apple is not interested in competing with Chinese junk makers - let those companies fight over the left over, low margin scraps and struggle for profitability.
    Totally agree.  Not to mention any attempt to have lower pricing for any given country for whatever reason would result in high volumes being purchased and resold on the black market elsewhere.  Talking of Rolex, I was amazed to read Apple's Watch is second only to Rolex in profitability, not bad for a 'failed' product, in what a couple of years from a standing start?
    It was my understanding that Apple became the 2nd biggest watch company in less than a year. I still believe the Edition market shouldn't be dropped.
    Who said it was being dropped? My wife and I both want the new ceramic Edition. It's a much more "sensible" Edition. I wonder if ceramic can be made in different colors which aren't glazed colors, but the ceramic material itself.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    ireland said:
    I'd imagine an iPhone made in India and sold in India may not be that much cheaper than now. Schiller has proven himself to be shrewd and arrogant when are comes to pricing. There's no reality where the new MBP aren't overpriced. Nice machines; overpriced: greed.
    You say that about the world's biggest, most profitable tech company like it was a bad thing. Perhaps you prefer Apple when it was going out of business, circa 1996.
    edited January 27
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