IDC estimates for iPhone sales in India seem to be grossly incorrect

“In today’s Economic Times (India’s leading business newspaper), there is an article out on how poorly Apple (AAPL) iPhones have sold in the January through March 2013 quarter based on so-called research from IDC. According to the analyst there, Apple sold a mere 120,000 iPhones in the March 2013 quarter versus 230,000 in the October through December 2012 quarter,” Jay Somaney writes for Seeking Alpha.

“That is impossible based on my chats and store visits over the last few weekends here in India,” Somaney writes. “According to one store manager at a Reliance Digital, probably the largest reseller of Apple products in India; ‘Apple is now (since the marketing blitz, promo offers and installment plans) selling significantly more smartphones compared to what it sold in the last four years combined.'”

Somaney writes, “In addition, another research outfit, Strategy Analytics estimates that approximately 10 million smartphones were sold in India in the first quarter of 2013, making India the third largest market for smart phones behind the USofA and China. IDC claims that AAPL share dropped from 4.7% in the December 2012 to 2.1% in the March 2013 quarter. If IDC is correct on market share and Strategy Analytics is right on the number of smart phones sold in India in the March quarter, it would translate to 210,000 phones sold by Apple in the March quarter.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wouldn’t be the first time. Won’t be the last.

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

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Apple’s iPhone sales in India have soared up to 400% with aggressive new campaign – May 31, 2013
Apple intros new incentives to make iPhone more affordable in India – May 20, 2013
Analyst: Samsung, BlackBerry marketing tends to mentally enslave the Indian consumer – May 16, 2013
Apple and Samsung locked in smartphone price war in India – or are they? – April 16, 2013
Apple starts a ‘cashback’ smartphone price war with heavy discounted iPhone 4 in India – April 12, 2013
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Apple to triple exclusive stores in India to 200 locations by 2015, sources say – March 26, 2013
Apple cracks India’s smartphone market – March 13, 2013
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Apple’s iPhone sales in India rise four-fold in 3 months – February 8, 2013
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Apple iPhone 5 coming to India on November 2, App Store adopts rupee pricing – October 26, 2012
Apple counters cheap Android phones in India by relaunching unlocked iPhone 3GS – June 28, 2011
High prices for Apple iPhone 3G in India causes disappointment, outrage – August 25, 2008
Apple faces big challenges in bringing iPhone to India, world’s fastest growing mobile phone market – December 26, 2007


  1. Whatever that number is India, this “difference of opinion” in estimates almost seems insignificant. They are talking about a difference of 100,000 or so? Apple sold 37.4 MILLION iPhones during that quarter, worldwide.

    So there a big headline about estimated iPhone sales being down India… In terms of overall iPhone sales, it hardly mattered at all.

    I was actually surprised Apple does not sell more iPhones in India. Apple has a lot of untapped potential there… I see that as a good thing for future sales growth.

    1. My GF was in India in Jan-Feb and didn’t see many iPhones around. She went back in June-July and remarked at how iPhones were all over the place — impressed her a good amount.

      That’s anecdotal, but to achieve visibility like that, I’d have to go with Somaney’s take on it.

      1. I will say that that figure sounds more logical, hardly stunning performance but a small decline after a successful launch period would fit the normal profile so lets hope that is the case for the cheaper new iPhone can work on that scenario.

    1. Boy you have a hard time comprehending and processing all the numbers and fact and stuff, eh?
      It only has to be 120K units IF they took a similar slice of the pie. However it is for more reasonable (If the “street” is to be believed (the reliance manager)) that they did much better than maintaing their current share.
      Given that, it is far more likely that someone else lost a large chunk of marketshare.
      Lests think… who just put out a looser phone and is not hemorrhaging marketshare in nearly every other market?
      Oh yeah, thats it…samsung looses big again!

      1. Boy you sure are a fucking idiot.

        The first numbers quoted in the previous article are 120 k iPhones sold in India for quarter ending March versus 230 k quarter ending December.

        Now this author ends with a number of 210 k sold contingent on IDC being correct on market share and Strategy Analytics being right on # of smart phones sold in India…

        Therefore, Apple sold 20 k less phones in India in the quarter ending March versus the quarter ending December.

        Thus, they’re STILL DOWN on this analysis.

        Analcists can attend hair splitting conventions in Atlantic City anytime they want, doesn’t erase the fact that Apple MIGHT be down on sales in India.

        The cold hard reality is the iPhone isn’t the only game in town, and cell phone subsidies may be dying a slow death. Having to commit so much money to Apple in terms of sales is really shitty. The carriers may not be able to keep this up. Subsidies… what was once a cash cow… may be too much of a liability to continue with it.

        Apple is right to focus on selling more iPhones to customers at its Apple Stores.

        I say, dump subsidized phones altogether and let people buy stuff up front or at most pay out off over a year. The cost of a new iPhone shouldn’t be anymore than $400.

        1. It’s ALL mostly irrelevant. Apple sold 37.4 MILLION iPhones during that quarter, worldwide. You’re arguing about “20 k less phones in India”? If Apple’s iPhone sales in India dropped to ZERO last quarter, it would STILL be mostly negligible in the big picture.

          I find it hilarious that these analysts (on both sides) are trying to make something that is currently a “blip,” into a headline – “iPhone Sales in India Sharply Lower” OH NO! Apple is doomed!

          Apple’s goal in India is not (only) to increase sales; it’s to make that market relevant in their big picture.

          1. Ken:

            Ya, I agree sales there are abysmal compared to their total sales. What ur missing is that Apple just recently did a massive marketing blitz there for the iPhone 5. And sales are crap and declining? That’s bad news in a market Apple is trying to crack. 1 billion people.

            But as I talked about earlier, India might be too poor and broken for Apple.

            1. Hence, the low or lower cost iPhone. I think there will actually be two new phones, eventually.

              The LOWER cost iPhone is the one with the recent “leaked” images. It’s probably the current iPhone 5, with 8GB storage and a plastic backside (and maybe an A5 instead of an A6). It can run iOS 7 perfectly. In the U.S., it takes over the “FREE with two-year contract” spot in the lineup (rather than use the iPhone 4S there). And it can be the more affordable (but still not “cheap”) iPhone model, in markets that do not use the “carrier subsidy” system.

              The LOW cost iPhone is not a “real” iPhone, although it may be called “iPhone something” for marketing. It does not run iOS nor apps from the App Store, although it comes with built-in apps for functions most people need on a mobile phone. So it is a “smart” phone without being a “smartphone.” This phone, which will not significantly cannibalize existing iPhone sales, targets customers who did not previously consider a “real” iPhone due to cost.

              That’s my speculation for how Apple can make India “relevant” in the big picture.

            2. Well it has a middle class (though how that is defined I can’t say) that’s probably a third of the US population so its hardly a market to be ignored is it and its growing fast. So Apple needs to commit to it as the situation will be so very different within 20 years as Asia as a whole becomes by far the most important market. Whether it will develop a sophisticated middle class over a moneyed set of chaos is another matter. The later will go for gimmicks over class ie Android over iPhone. So Apple has to play clever and focus on the right type of customer and image.

  2. The Scamscum(run by felons) slush fund could only get them so far. “Think Samsung”, we need the book the be translated and given away along with “Winnie the Pooh” in iBooks. :-)))))

  3. “That is impossible based on my chats and store visits over the last few weekends here in India,”

    Based on chat & store visits – BUHHAHA HAHAHAHAHHA

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