Apple sees a huge market potential for its products in India and the technology giant is really putting energy in the country which will begin rolling out high-speed wireless networks this year, CEO Tim Cook said.
According to a report in PTI: “This is another huge one. India will be the most populous country in the world in 2022. India today has about 50 per cent of their population at 25 years of age or younger. It’s a very young country. People really want smartphones there,” Cook said in an interview.
He said in emerging markets like India, LTE (wireless) penetration is currently zero but as LTE begins to roll out this year in the country, the dynamics will change.
“And so that’s changing. Huge market potential,” he said in response to a question about the Indian market for Apple. Cook said the company has got great innovation in the pipeline and new iPhones that will attract people in markets like India. He added that in countries like India, Apple penetration has been less since there is no LTE networks.
“What I see is that countries like India, no LTE, so 0 per cent penetration. They are selling smartphones, and we sell iPhone there. But arguably you can’t get the full value from it,” he said adding that retailers in markets like India are not huge national kind of retailers. “And the carriers don’t sell phones in India. So there’s a lot of work to do,” he said.
While sales for Apple in China, its second-largest market after the United States, fell 11 per cent in the latest quarter, in India iPhone sales were up 56 per cent from a year ago. Noting the growth registered by Apple in India, Cook said this is pretty big.
He said Apple is now…really putting energy in India as well as in other markets across the world where I think that people sitting here in this country look at it through just a lens of what’s happening in the United States. And but there are a lot of people in the world who don’t have the pleasure of owning an iPhone yet.
Apple had last week announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 second quarter ended March 26, 2016.
The company posted quarterly revenue of $50.6 billion, down from $58 billion in the year-ago quarter. Its quarterly net income stood at $10.5 billion, a decline from $13.6 billion in the same period last year.
In a conference call following the results, Cook had said network infrastructure and retail remain among Apple’s main challenges in India, with the market there today being where China was seven to ten years ago.
Cook had said while India is the third-largest smartphone market in the world, it is dominated by low-end smartphones primarily because of the network and the economics due to which the market potential has not been as great there.
While Xiaomi and LeEco have also submitted proposals to open single-brand retail outlets in the country, their proposals have not been taken up so far.
The government allows 100 per cent FDI in the segment but companies are required to seek approval if overseas holding exceeds 49 per cent.
Apple in India
India has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets for Apple, with the company notching up over $1-billion (around Rs 7,000-crore at current exchange rate) sales revenue in 2015. Its sales grew 76 per cent during the quarter ended December 2015 even as its global sales growth slowed to 0.4 per cent. In recent months, the Steve Jobs-founded company has identified India along with China as its top markets.
At present, Apple sells through its distributors in India. It indicated in the presentation that it would open several stores but would rely on other retailers as well.