Apple Inc.’s new online store helped the company score a sales record in India in the September quarter, the California-based technology giant said in an earnings call.
“Geographically, we set September quarter records in the Americas, Europe and the rest of Asia Pacific. We also set a September quarter record in India, thanks in part to a very strong reception to this quarter’s launch of our online store in the country,” said Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple.
While the company did not disclose its fourth-quarter revenues from India, its revenues from the rest of Asia Pacific region (which excludes China) grew by 10% year-on-year.
Cook said that at least part of the success is due to the company’s new online retail store in the country.
According to analysts, Apple has seen success in India with its iPhone SE and iPhone 11 models, both of which are cheaper than its other phones sold in the country.
“Apple is finally paying attention to India,” Rushabh Doshi, research director at tech market analyst firm Canalys, said recently.
Doshi said the online store gives “several new angles” to Apple’s go-to-market strategy in India, like utilizing trade-in programmes and bundling its Airpods with iPhones to make them more appealing.
He said that the new and pricier iPhone 12 will be a tough sell in India and the company’s pricing strategy in the country needs “serious consideration”.
Analysts have also said that supply constraints faced by Chinese brands, thanks to the pandemic and restrictions placed by India on Chinese shipments amid geopolitical tensions, has made it easier for brands like Apple and Samsung in the country. Both companies grew their business in the country over the past two quarters, while all Chinese brands saw their market shares decline.
Apple’s growth in India, however, comes at a time when iPhone sales fell about 20% year-on-year worldwide. Apple was forced to shutter stores in several countries due to the pandemic and said it is still facing supply chain issues. The company had to launch the iPhone 12 series late this year, and they weren’t included in the September quarter earnings report.
The growth in India was also part of a record September quarter for the company. Apple reported $64.7 billion in revenue and all-time records for its Mac and services business. Cook said the need for devices that can assist in education and work from home has helped the Mac business.
The company made more than $9 billion in sales from Macs globally, while the iPad business grew by 46% year-on-year, making more than $6 billion in sales.
The company did not provide guidance for the December quarter, something it has been doing this year, since the pandemic has made business conditions unpredictable.