Apple dominating India's premium smartphone market

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple's attempts to grow market share in India is continuing to bear fruit, with iPhones seeing 79% year-on-year growth in the first quarter, as well as being the leading brand in the ultra-premium smartphone segment.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on a visit to India in 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook on a visit to India in 2016


India is an important emerging market for Apple, with the iPhone producer making considerable efforts to make headway in a market dominated by cheaper rivals. In a new report analyzing the market, Apple's work is seeing results, but it still has a considerable way to go to become one of the most-used mobile devices in the country.

According to data from Counterpoint Research, the smartphone market in India grew just 4% year-on-year in the first quarter to just over 31 million units. Overall shipments in the country grew annually in January and February from a combination of device launches and aggressive promotions, but a 19% decline was observed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is thought the slowdown will continue for a while longer, as the Indian government put the country into lockdown from the last week in March, with an expected lifting of some restrictions on May 3. "Any signs of recovery will likely only start from the third quarter onwards," Counterpoint suggests, prompting an estimate that overall smartphone shipments "will decline by 10% for the full calendar year."

For Apple, despite the industry as a whole suffering at the hands of COVID-19, it has managed to see some improvement in India during the quarter. Counterpoint's figures suggest Apple was the third-fastest growing brand in the period with 79% growth, beaten by realme with 119% and OPPO at 83%.

Strong shipments were observed for the iPhone 11, with multiple discounts on Flipkart, Amazon, and other areas likely to have driven sales.

One area Apple is dominating within is the "ultra-premium segment," deemed to be valued at 45,000 rupees ($592) or more. Figures suggest Apple was the leading brand, with a market share of 55%.

Apple's interest in India has led to the company trying to open its first regional Apple Store in Mumbai sometime in 2021, while simultaneously supplying the market with iPhones produced within the country.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,026member
    Because people like nice things.
    ArloTimetravelerlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,130member
    lkrupp said:
    Because people like nice things.

    Wrong. The 50 buck iPhoney is outselling iPhone.

    /s
    seantheman
  • Reply 3 of 10
    XedXed Posts: 835member
    lkrupp said:
    Because people like nice things.
    They do, but they also need to be priced for the market, which Apple started to seriously address several years ago. It's too bad that the Foxconn facility got scraped this year as that would've helped further spur India as a growth center for Apple in several ways.
    lkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,173member
    But but but the iPhone is dated! Its design is stale! It has a notch! 

    Yet...it remains king of premium. It doesn't fight for market share alone, because profit is more important. Going after a lesser market share of more premium product (and profit) is a winning strategy.
    lkrupplolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,026member
    Xed said:
    lkrupp said:
    Because people like nice things.
    They do, but they also need to be priced for the market, which Apple started to seriously address several years ago. It's too bad that the Foxconn facility got scraped this year as that would've helped further spur India as a growth center for Apple in several ways.
    The article points out that Apple is dominating the premium smartphone market and your response is that Apple needs to make cheaper products. That doesn’t even make sense. I completely reject your irrational reasoning. 
    jony0Beatsanantksundaramdewmelolliver
  • Reply 6 of 10
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,130member
    But but but the iPhone is dated! Its design is stale! It has a notch! 





    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    XedXed Posts: 835member
    lkrupp said:
    Xed said:
    lkrupp said:
    Because people like nice things.
    They do, but they also need to be priced for the market, which Apple started to seriously address several years ago. It's too bad that the Foxconn facility got scraped this year as that would've helped further spur India as a growth center for Apple in several ways.
    The article points out that Apple is dominating the premium smartphone market and your response is that Apple needs to make cheaper products. That doesn’t even make sense. I completely reject your irrational reasoning. 
    It makes perfect sense. If premium for a market constitutes a widget over $300 and you only have widgets that are $1200 and up (with all included tariffs applied) then you're not going to be getting the lion's share of the premium market because there's a whole of other players and a lot more customers between $300–$1200 than there above $1200. IOW, new iPhone SE is going to further help Apple dominate the premium smartphone because of its modern SoC with a lower price point, not in spite of.

    Personally, I don't understand why anyone would reject the notion that a US product being sold in India would have different value principles for various products for given market segments, as well as ignore how tariffs and resellers additionally affect how these products are sold. The most expensive iPhone in the US absolutely isn't in the same market category as that exact same item is in India. Apple is smart to have taken that into account for their increased growth in India and you should too.

    Of course, if you still think your simple "because people like nice things" argument is complete sound as stated, then you'll need to explain why the nicest things are the least purchase items in the world. Here are some examples of very nice, premium products that still have very different classes of customers because of their cost differences: Rolls Royce v Mercedes Model S or Bombardier Global 7000 v Cirrus SR22.
    edited April 2020
  • Reply 8 of 10
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,173member
    Beats said:
    But but but the iPhone is dated! Its design is stale! It has a notch! 





    Amazing that every single one of those notch knockoffs still has a chin. Oops. 
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    KITAKITA Posts: 352member
    One area Apple is dominating within is the "ultra-premium segment," deemed to be valued at 45,000 rupees ($592) or more. Figures suggest Apple was the leading brand, with a market share of 55%.
    Is that a surprise? The OnePlus 8 (a new 2020 flagship) is only 42,000 rupees ($556) and wouldn't even be in that "ultra-premium segment."

    Buy OnePlus 8 - OnePlus United States
  • Reply 10 of 10
    lkrupp said:
    Because people like nice things.

    Both Flipkart and Amazon still sell iPhone 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+.   Nevermind all the later iPhones as well.  But the price of a 64 GB iPhone 6S+ is still the equivalent of around $700 USD.    That is just ridiculous.   No wonder why Apple doesn't even have more than 1% of the smartphone market in India.  
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