While Apple began manufacturing iPhones in the country to slash the prices locally, it looks like the company still has a long way to go. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple sold less than a million iPhones in the first half of 2018.
Earlier, three Apple sales executives left the company as it restructured its operations there. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple only has two percent market share in India, and in 2017, it sold 3.2 million iPhones.
And while Apple expanded its distributors and is opening more Apple stores in the country, its growth trajectory in India has been slow. According to regulatory filings, Apple’s India revenues grew 17 per cent to Rs 11,619 crores in the financial year 2017.
While India is the world’s third largest smartphone market, Apple’s high tariffs that add up to 15 to 20 per cent to the price has diverted consumers towards cheaper alternatives, like Samsung and Xiaomi.
Earlier this year, Apple started manufacturing iPhone 6S and the cheaper iPhone SE in the country to compete with Chinese players and to reduce the price of its phones. But it’ll take a while before Apple’s operations get up and begin running at full capacity. But in the meantime, Apple is lagging behind its competitors.
‘India is a big opportunity for us, and we will move aggressively into the country. The country has expanded its 4G network and has a growing middle class, which could mean that more people will be willing adopt Apple’s products,’ said Tim Cook.
According to Gartner, global sales of smartphones to end users returned to growth in the first quarter of 2018 with a 1.3 per cent increase over the same period in 2017. Compared to the first quarter of 2017, sales of total mobile phones stalled and reached 455 million units in the first quarter of 2018.
With 20.1 per cent market share, South Korean giant Samsung leads the global smartphone market followed by Apple capturing 14.1 per cent market share, research firm Gartner has said.
In terms of units, while Samsung shipped 78,564.8 smartphones to end users, Apple shipped 54,058.9 smartphones. While Huawei and Xiaomi experienced the largest growth in the quarter, Apple returned to growth after sales declined last quarter in 2017.
Apple's smartphone unit sales returned to growth in the first quarter of 2018, with an increase of four per cent year on year.