“India may be a small market for Apple right now, but the latest Kantar data shows why the company is placing such an emphasis on the country,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “While worldwide smartphone growth is just 3%, smartphone penetration in India grew by 16% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017.”

Lovejoy reports, “Purchase intention also shows great prospects for Apple…”

Over the next 12 months, 51% of current mobile phone owners in India say they intend to upgrade their devices. For current smartphone owners, that number is 52%. Samsung is the top brand preferred in India at 26%, followed by Apple at 15%. All of this bodes well for Apple, especially if it can begin to manufacture iPhones in India in the coming months. – Kantar

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, India is key for continued iPhone growth – especially beyond this sure-to-be-blockbuster tenth anniversary iPhone year.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s iPhone 5s is the top premium smartphone in India – May 10, 2017
Apple India set to make its online store debut this year – May 1, 2017
Indian government working on Apple’s demand for tax and duty concessions – March 26, 2017
Apple to start making iPhones in India within 4-6 weeks – March 23, 2017
India turns down Apple’s tax incentive demand – March 22, 2017
Apple trying to make a foothold in India, despite roadblocks – March 20, 2017
Apple again asks Indian government to allow sale of certified refurbished iPhones in India – February 6, 2017
Indian IT minister says Apple plans to make iPhones in Bengaluru – February 3, 2017
Apple nears deal to manufacture products in India – January 25, 2017
Apple is ready to make iPhones in India, for a price – January 20, 2017
India to consider Apple request for tax breaks and policy exemptions with ‘open mind’ – January 18, 2017
Apple is horse-trading mightily with India – January 4, 2017
India poised to reject manufacturing concessions for Apple – January 3, 2017
Apple doesn’t want India’s government to muddle iPhone’s look – December 29, 2016
Apple is discussing manufacturing in India, government officials say – December 20, 2016
Apple iPhone grabs first place in India with 66% of premium smartphone sales – November 29, 2016
Apple seeks government incentives to set up manufacturing unit in India – November 7, 2016
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus launch in India: Apple’s latest flagship gets record-breaking response – October 8, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]