While Apple’s latest flagships the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus have broken major sales records in the US, the smartphones received lukewarm response in India due to its high pricing. However, price cuts, wider distribution base and buyback programs, have helped Apple post its best quarter ever in India selling 800,000 units of its iPhones, according to Counterpoint Research.
Historically, it is Apple’s strongest quarter ever in India, up from 500,000 for the same quarter last year. India is a market where Apple has both the cheapest and most expensive pricing for the iPhone.
“Apple sell-in for Q415 was over 0.8 million, the best ever for Apple. The initial sales were hurt by steep pricing and the overall portfolio pricing wasn’t as stable as compared to a year ago,” senior analyst at Counterpoint, Tarun Pathak told ET. He further added that out of all the devices shipped to India; over 90 percent of the shipments got sold.
Out of the total shipments, iPhone 5s accounted for 30 percent, whereas the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus account for less than 50 percent in the same period. In comparison, the 2014 flagship iPhone 6 contributed for around 70 percent share in the same period last year.
However, to ensure good sales, Apple had to entice buyers with a range of promotions and also gave a freehand to its distributors to decide market operating prices, which led to a significant price drop of the latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It is also important to note that Apple cut the price of its best-selling model, the iPhone 5s, making its India pricing cheapest in the world.
While competition in the Indian smartphone market has increased with the entry of Chinese brands, Cybermedia Research predicts that smartphone sales in 2016 are set to grow to 37 percent, compared to an average of 32 percent in the past three years.