Apple might not have been doing well globally — the company recently posted first annual revenue decline in 15 years since 2001 — but its India unit seems to be doing insanely well. Apple had earlier announced that iPhone sales in India grew by 50 percent compared to same time last year and now Apple has become the second-largest smartphone maker in India by revenue for the financial year ending March 2016. The company has successfully managed to do this by piping the country s largest home-grown brand Micromax, and touching sales milestone of Rs 10,000 crore in less than 10 years of its operations. Also Read - Apple TV Plus for free: PS5 owners get six months subscription free of costAlso Read - Amazon Prime Day sale deals revealed: Discount on OnePlus Nord CE, Mi 11X, Samsung Galaxy M42
Based on the balance filed on November 30, Apple India sales grew by 54 percent to Rs 9,997.1 crore for fiscal year 2016, compared to Rs 6,472.89 crore during the same time last year. Profits have also surged by 21 percent to Rs 294 crore as Apple managed to expand its retail network in smaller cities, while lowering prices to allow distributors to decide the final selling price.
During the same period, Micromax sales dipped by six percent to Rs 9,825.46 during 2015-16 as the brand faced fierce challenge competing with Chinese smartphone makers. Samsung, which still holds the top spot in Indian smartphone market had its sales touching Rs 47,001.4 crore, out of which nearly 70 percent (or 32,900) is expected to have been generated from handset business.
Apple has been growing sales in India largely with the older iPhone models by cutting their prices. Hence, the company saw a huge potential with company-certified refurbished iPhones which could have been attractively priced. But with the government turning this proposal down, Apple efforts will now progressively focus on the upgradation of the existing user base to the latest models which will lead to faster revenue growth, a senior industry official told ET.
Industry executives who are aware of Apple s strategy told the publication that the company s sales for the last fiscal year were majorly driven by the iPhone 5s, which contributed to 50 percent of its revenue. Apple gave the iPhone 5s a massive price cut, and one can buy it online for under Rs 20,000, which also makes it the most affordable iPhone. Currently, there are about five million iPhone users in India. Also, despite higher price tag of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus ranging from Rs 60,000 to Rs 92,000, Apple has managed to achieve higher sales target. The new black and jet black color variants are in maximum demand.
Since posting total revenue of Rs 4,500 crore in financial year 2014, Apple has managed to more than double its sales in India in the past two years. This financial year, Apple could be fighting for the second spot with Lenovo, which has nearly doubled its sales to Rs 10,483.62 crore, largely driven by combining the smartphone business of both Lenovo and Motorola. Earlier this week, at the Lenovo K6 Power launch, the company revealed that it has sold over 13 million smartphones on Flipkart. ALSO READ: Lenovo claims it sells 25% of all smartphones sold online in India
Also, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research, Apple had a market share of 1.1 percent in Indian smartphone during July-September, with Samsung taking the peak spot with 22.6 percent market share and Micromax taking the second spot with 9.9 percent market share. However, in the premium segment, the data for October suggests that Apple has taken a massive 66 percent lead over Samsung, with the Korean company having a market share of just 23 percent due to discontinuation of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. The research firm also believes that Apple is likely to ship a million smartphones in India in the present quarter itself, with around 400,000 smartphones already been shipped in October.