Apple iPhone sales in India set to dip in holiday quarter for first time in 4 years

“Apple’s iPhone sales are set to dip by around a quarter in India’s holiday season fourth quarter, putting them on course for the first full-year fall in four years, industry research firm Counterpoint said on Saturday,” Reuters reports.

“Neil Shah, research director at HongKong-based Counterpoint Research, said on Saturday its channel checks pointed to numbers for the quarter in the range of 700,000 to 800,000 units, down from about a million a year ago,” Reuters reports. “For the whole of 2018, Apple was set to sell about 2 million phones – a drop of about a million from last year, he said, as Indians balk at high prices for the devices, driven by trade tariffs and a weak rupee.”

“‘Sales are set to drop for the first time in four years,’ Shah said. ‘If you look at Q3 – it was 900k last year and this (year) is almost 450k,'” Reuters reports. “Shah said that, while more than half the phones sold this year were older iPhone models, high selling prices meant Apple’s Indian revenue should still be flat or slightly higher than a year ago.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Higher iPhone ASPs will naturally impact unit sales in emerging markets.

The emerging markets that we’re seeing pressure in are markets like Turkey, India, Brazil, Russia. These are markets where currencies have weakened over the recent period. In some cases, that resulted in us raising prices and those markets are not growing the way we would like to see.

To give you a perspective in of some detail, our business in India in Q4 was flat. Obviously, we would like to see that be a huge growth. Brazil was down somewhat compared to the previous year. And so I think, or at least the way that I see these, is each one of the emerging markets has a bit of a different story, and I don’t see it as some sort of issue that is common between those for the most part…

We’ve had really great productive discussions with the Indian government, and I fully expect that at some point, they will agree to allow us to bring our stores into the country. We’ve been in discussions with them, and the discussions are going quite well.

As you point out, there are import duties in some or most of the product categories that we’re in. In some cases, they compound, and this is an area that we’re giving lots of feedback on. We do manufacture some of the entry iPhones in India, and that project has gone well. I am a big believer in India. I am very bullish on the country and the people and our ability to do well there.

The currency weakness has been part of our challenge there, as you can tell from just looking at the currency trends, but I view these as speed bumps along a very long journey, though. And the long term I think is very, very strong there. There’s a huge number of people that will move into the middle class. The government has really focused on reform in a major way and made some very bold moves. And I applaud them for doing that and I can’t wait for the future there. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Q418 Earnings Conference Call, November 1, 2018


  1. So Apple overall is not doing well in India, what a surprise that is. Tim Cook wasted time and resources courting that corrupt, child and slave labour democracy that is India. Instead he should have paid attention to soft ware and hard ware (butterfly key boards) issues, things that are closer to home. Let Andriod have the cheap Indian market. More importantly Indians should have their own OS system to rival iOS and Andriod. They boast of being a tech savvy nation, so lets lets how good the 1 billion brain power is.

  2. Why would average low-paid consumers in India be buying high-end iPhones? Why would anyone even expect that to happen? I really don’t understand why this is a surprise to anyone. Even as an Apple shareholder, I don’t want Apple trying to sell iPhones to consumers struggling for survival. Let them buy cheap Android smartphones to improve their meager lives. Not that I want to see Indian citizens all becoming smartphone zombies like the ones here in NYC.

    If Wall Street thinks selling high-end products to struggling consumers is a good thing, then screw Wall Street. I’ll take the share price drop if that’s the case.

    Apple needs to find some additional revenue stream apart from trying to sell iPhones to citizens living in the poorest nations on the planet.

    1. Everything you say is correct, on top of that the Indian government is very unfair and makes retrospective tax laws and harasses companies that have invested in India. When companies takes employees or potential clients for lunches, they have to declare it as tax income, otherwise they get into the wrong side of the law. Microsoft had huge problems in India, and Apple will not escape being a victim of the Indian government. As for the Pro Indians, who are a bunch of Star Spangled, gold plated, triple decked LIARS, they have gone very silent now. These Pro Indians were jumping with happiness when Tim Cook was foolishly wasting time with the Indian PM. Apple should avoid India, and concentrate on getting things right. It has enough profit and dont need anymore market share. The filthy rich Indians who thrive on child and slave labour can get their Apple Gear from Singapore, Bangkok and Dubai. No need for Apple to be in that god forsaken and unfair country. its dirt poor and cheap Indian citizens can have andriod. Also India should develop its own OS, both mobile and PC to rival microsoft, ios, OSX and andriod.

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