Apple has long been a global leader in the smartphone market, and counts the likes of the US, the UK, and China as its key markets. India, despite being a recent attraction for the tech giant to shift its production to, has often remained behind in terms of the market of Apple’s flagship smartphone – the iPhone. Now, this is starting to change, and in the second quarter of 2023, India became Apple’s fifth largest iPhone market, surpassing Germany and France, for the first time ever.
According to a report from Counterpoint Research, India rose to occupy the position of the fifth-largest iPhone market in the June quarter, which came amidst the company’s increased focus on distribution and marketing in the country, the opening of two retail outlets in India, and increased sales of Apple products in the world’s second-largest internet market. India is on track to become an even bigger market in terms of sales, considering the Cupertino-giant’s targeted focus to grow smartphone market share in the largely low-cost Android dominated country.
The growth of the iPhone maker in India has been a combination of the company’s “overall strategy focusing on distribution and affordability,” Ankit Malhotra, senior research analyst at Counterpoint Research, commented on the matter, adding that “the first industry-wide factor is the growth in the premium market in India which Apple has taken advantage of.”
Now, India ranks behind the U.K., Japan, China, and the U.S. when it comes to iPhone sales. The June quarter saw a growth of 50% year-on-year of iPhone same in the country, while the South-Asian country contributed nearly 4% of all iPhone sales during the same period. There are a number of factors that have contributed to India’s growing importance for Apple. For one, the Indian economy is growing rapidly, resulting in the expansion of the Indian middle class. This, in turn, creates a growing demand for premium smartphones, such as the iPhone.
For another, Apple has been increasing its focus on India in recent years. The company has opened its first two retail stores in India, and it has also been expanding its distribution network. Apple has also been making its products more affordable for Indian consumers. Furthermore, the Indian government has been making it easier for foreign companies to do business in India. This has made it more attractive for Apple to invest in India, which even shifted some of the manufacturing of its iPhones to the country (and away from China) to ensure that Indian consumers can buy locally-manufactured iPhones at some point in the future.
For the period ended June 2023, the market share of the Cupertino-headquartered tech titan rose to 5.1%, an increase from the market share of 3.4% it commanded in the same period last year. The country’s smartphone market continues to be dominated by the likes of Chinese vendors and low-cost Android smartphones, while the majority of smartphones are powered by Google’s Android.