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Apple CEO Tim Cook bullish on India, says it is a "major focus" market

Apple is putting a significant amount of energy to grow its business in India, says CEO Tim Cook

February 03, 2023 / 09:36 AM IST


Apple CEO Tim Cook said on February 2 that India is a "hugely exciting market" for the company and the iPhone maker is putting a lot of emphasis on the world's second-largest mobile phone market, as the country emerges as a key geography for the future growth.

"We set a quarterly revenue record and grew very strong double digits year-over-year (YoY). So we feel very good about how we performed, despite the headwinds" Tim Cook said during the company's earnings conference call on February 2, without disclosing any specific information.

Apple also witnessed "record levels" of people switching to iPhone in the country, Cook said.

Apple is currently the leader in India's premium smartphone market (above Rs 30,000) in India and also led the country's smartphone market in terms of shipment value in Q4 2022, according to the market research firm Counterpoint Research.

It also clocked record shipments of over 6 million in 2022, registering a 16% growth YoY, the firm noted.

Apple retail stores soon

"Premiumization trend backed by local retail and manufacturing initiatives will further help Apple to grow in India," said Tarun Pathak, research director at Counterpoint Research.

During the earnings conference call, Cook said they are taking several measures to grow the iPhone adoption in the country by making it more affordable through various financing options and trade-ins.

The tech giant also opened its online store in India in 2020 and is gearing up to open its flagship retail store in the country, he said.

"(We are) putting a significant amount of energy there. I'm very bullish on India... We are, in essence, taking what we learned in China years ago and how we scale and bringing that to bear" Cook said.

Apple India’s consolidated revenue had touched an all-time high of $4.03 billion (Rs 33,381 crore) in the financial year 2022, up nearly 45 percent on the back of strong demand for its premium smartphones, Moneycontrol reported in October 2022.

The Cupertino tech giant has also started manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India, and is exploring manufacturing other products such as its wireless headphones Airpods in the country, a move that could provide a huge boost to the nation's ambitions to become a global manufacturing hub.

As many as 14 Apple suppliers from China have been reportedly given initial clearance by the government as India pushes for ramping up domestic manufacturing of smartphones.

Apple exported more than $2.5 billion of iPhones from India from April to December, nearly twice the previous fiscal year’s total, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

In January 2023, India's commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that Apple already has about "5-7 percent of its global manufacturing in India and is targeting to go up to 25% of global manufacturing from India with the most recent models of the iPhone being launched in India"

Financial performance

Overall, Apple's sales shrinked 5% YoY to $117.2 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2022.

During the call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said three factors impacted their revenues during the quarter - foreign-exchange headwinds; Covid-related production challenges in China that significantly impacted the supply of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max and the challenging macroeconomic environment.

Revenues from Apple's iPhone business came in at $65.8 billion for the quarter, down 8% YoY. Mac revenue was down 28.7% YoY to $7.7 billion while revenue from wearables, home and accessories business was at $13.5 billion, down 8% YoY.

iPad and services were the bright spots, registering growth during the quarter. While iPad revenue rose 30% YoY to $9.4 billion for the quarter, services touched an all-time revenue record of $20.8 billion, registering a 6% growth YoY. Apple's services business includes revenues from App Store, cloud services, music, video, advertising, and its payment services.

Apple now has over 2 billion active devices over 935 million paid subscriptions across various services on its platform.

Vikas SN
Vikas SN
first published: Feb 3, 2023 09:36 am