iPhone sales dip by 9% in India


Apple iPhone sales in India dipped in the October-December quarter.

According to Counterpoint Research, iPhone sales declined by 9 per cent in volume terms and 7 per cent by revenues during the quarter compared to the corresponding quarter last year.

The average selling price of an iPhone, however, went up in India in the quarter because of the launch of its most expensive iPhone X in November.

“iPhones sales declined in the October-December quarter in India and have also been trailing the smartphone growth in India,” said Neil Shah, partner at Counterpoint Research. iPhone sales globally have also declined by 1.24 per cent year-on-year.

For the October-December quarter, iPhone sales in India fell to 810,000 units from 890,000. However, for the full year 2017, iPhone shipments grew 23 per cent in India at 3.2 million units from 2.6 million units in 2016.

The sales of Apple iPhones could further dampen after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced an increase in the Customs duty on phones to 20 per cent from 15 per cent. This applies only to phones that are not assembled in India such as the iPhones.

While most other handset makers assemble almost all their smartphones in India, Apple assembles only two of its older iPhones here, which means newer iPhones will attract the higher duty. This may further dampen sales of iPhones in India unless the company sees growth in the older models.

Despite the fall in iPhone sales, Apple saw double-digit growth in India revenues during the quarter. This was primarily due to a surge in demand for Mac computers and iPad tablets.

“MacBook and iPad sales have significantly improved in the last one year, increasing their revenue share for Apple in India and thereby also increase the average sales price of Apple devices in the country,” Shah added.

While posting its first-quarter results on Thursday, Apple reported all-time high revenue from India for the October-December quarter, thanks to growth in Mac computers and iPad tablets.

“Mac performance was particularly strong in emerging markets, with unit sales up 13 per cent year-over-year and with all-time records in Latin America, in India, Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe,” Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said during the company’s analyst call.

Since July last year, Apple has been running aggressive marketing campaigns, offering interest-free EMIs on MacBooks and heavy discounts on entry-level MacBooks on e-commerce portals. This, combined with an attached aspirational value with the Apple brand in India, has helped MacBook sales to grow, Shah said.