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    Apple Just Recorded its Best Ever Sales Quarter in India. But is it Enough?

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     Even though the Apple products are priced at a premium amount, the company is perceptive about expanding its presence in the hyper-competitive smartphone market in India. The company also recorded a significant increase in the sales of iPad tablets in India for the last three months of 2017.

    India has been a funny and chaotic marketplace owing to the country’s legit economic disruptions. For instance, the Indian government’s demonetisation move of discarding old 500 and 1000-Rupee notes and declaring it invalid as a legal tender had led to a slowdown across many industries and the consumer electronics market. Surprisingly, iPhone became one of the largest selling products during demonetization.

    In order to utilize their phased-out notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, consumers rushed to buy the costliest smartphones and other luxury products. Retailers started reporting higher sales of iPhones three days after demonetisation was announced. On the other hand, analysts also credited Apple’s record revenue in that quarter to the hugely successful launch of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, along with the absence of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note 7, which was pulled out by the company due to technical issues.

    Eventually, Apple grabbed the 10th position in the smartphone rankings during the last quarter, leading the finest segment with 62% market share, replacing Samsung which ended the period with 35% share. Google’s Pixel had 5% share. Nevertheless, the Apple management also mentioned that it’s not just the iPhone which is growing in India, but even iPads and Mac computers.

    Luca Maestri, Chief Financial Officer at Apple Inc., declared, “Our results were terrific all around the world with double digit revenue growth in all our geographic segments, an all-time quarterly record in the vast majority of markets we track, including the US…as well as Mainland China… and India,” It was also reported that the company posted 13% year-on-year growth in revenue at USD 88.3 billion in the said quarter along with a profit of USD 3.89 per share. International sales accounted for 65% of the quarter’s revenue.

    The smartphone penetration has been increasing at a rapid pace each year, creating a massive opportunity for growth in a country like India, wherein Apple is the second most preferred buying brand. Smartphone penetration in India grew by 16% in the first quarter of 2017, while worldwide growth was just at 3%, indicating its huge potential in the country.

    The question that rises is: Are the numbers enough? India is one of the last big frontiers for Apple to conquer and an important market for Apple to sell its iPhones. Evidently, the market is full of challenges, ranging from varied demographics to regulatory hurdles. For Apple to win in the Indian market, it should tackle it with an astute focus on the urban middle-class segment and per capita income expansion in the next couple of years.

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