Apple’s iPhone sales grew 56 per cent in India in the second quarter from the year ago period, its CEO Tim Cook said in an earnings call. Mr. Cook also was bullish on Apple’s prospects in India.
iPhone sales in India was one of the silver lining for the firm, which reported its first-ever decline in global iPhone sales and first revenue drop in 13 years.
“On emerging markets, if you take a look at India we grew by 56 per cent. We are placing increasing emphasis in these areas, where it’s clear there will be disproportionate growth versus the more developed areas,” Mr. Cook said.
“If you look at India, and each country has a different story a bit, but the things that have held not only us back perhaps but some others as well is that the LTE rollout with India just really began this year, and so we’ll begin to see some really good networks coming on in India,” Mr. Cook said. “That will unleash the power and capability of the iPhone in a way that an older network, a 2.5G or even some 3G networks, would not do. And so the infrastructure is one key.”
He also spoke about building distribution channels in India.
“The second one is building the channel out,” Mr. Cook said. “Unlike the U.S., as an example, where the carriers in the U.S. sell the vast majority of phones that are sold in the United States, in India the carriers in general sell virtually no phones. And so it’s out in retail, and retail is many, many different small shops.”
“We’ve been working in India now for a couple of years or more, but we’ve been working with great energy over the last 18 months or so, and I’m encouraged by the results that we’re beginning to see there, and believe there’s a lot, lot more there.”
“India is already third largest smartphone market in the world. But because the smartphones that are working there are low end, primarily because of the network and the economics, the market potential has not been as great there. But I view India as where China was maybe seven to ten years ago from that point of view, and I think there’s a really great opportunity there,” he added.