Tech giant Apple set a June quarter revenue record in India, driven by robust sales of iPhone, with CEO Tim Cook saying the company is “pleased” with growth in the world’s second-largest smartphone market.
The top brass pledged to put its energies into tapping the huge opportunity that presents itself here, given Apple is still “very modest and (has) low share in this smartphone market”.
India figured prominently in the Cupertino-based iPhone maker’s latest earnings call, as the company highlighted how the performance of newly-launched stores here exceeded expectations.
On a specific question on the potential of India, Cook said, “You know we did hit a June quarter revenue record in India and we grew strong double digits. We also opened our first two retail stores during the quarter and of course it’s early going currently, but they are currently beating our expectations in terms of how they are doing”.
Apple said it continues to work on building out the channel and putting more investment in direct-to-consumer offers as well.
“And so I think if you look at it, it’s the second largest smartphone market in the world and we ought to be doing really well there and we are very pleased with our growth there,” Cook said.
At the same time, the top honcho added, “We still have a very, very modest and low share in this smartphone market, so I think it’s a huge opportunity for us. And we are putting in all of our energies to make that occur.” Apple charted an ambitious retail expansion in India earlier this year, when it launched two retail outlets here, in Mumbai and Delhi, during Cook’s first trip to the country in seven years in April.
The new stores in Mumbai and Delhi come at a time when Apple is trying to deepen its retail push in India, a booming smartphone market.
During his India trip, Cook met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as Minister for Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw, and Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, as he underlined the company’s investment commitment to India.
Looking to replicate what China did to Apple’s business in the last 15 years, the tech giant is eyeing India’s massive market with an expanding middle class to power sales growth, and potentially make it a home base for the production of millions of Apple devices.
As such, India is also home to factories that produce 5 percent of total iPhones as Apple diversifies its supply chains away from China.
India too has identified electronics manufacturing as a key priority area for its future growth ambitions, hoping to attract investments from global biggies looking to diversify their operations outside of China.
India hopes to play on the strength of its storied talent and skill base, vibrant market, and enabling policies to corner substantial chunk of new investments flowing into electronics and phone manufacturing as well as semiconductor production, redefining its equation in global supply chains.