Apple is making big waves in India’s nascent 5G smartphone market

According to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s move into 5G smartphones seems to be paying off: Demand for the iPhone 12 family of 5G models is turning out to be even stronger than anticipated. In addition, Apple is making great progress in India’s nascent 5G smartphone market.

Customers in India can now shop Apple’s full range of products, and get expert advice and support from Apple Specialists.
Customers in India can now shop Apple’s full range of products, and get expert advice and support from Apple Specialists.

Harsh Chauhan reports for The Motley Fool:

This is not surprising, given the attractive pricing of the iPhone 12 lineup and Apple’s huge installed base of users, who have been waiting to upgrade to the latest wireless networking technology. But what’s surprising to see is that Apple’s latest phones are in great demand in a price-sensitive market such as India, which has yet to make the move to 5G. The company reportedly witnessed record-breaking iPhone 12 preorders in India at the end of October, which could help it sustain its newly found momentum in that market and pave the way for long-term growth.

Canalys estimates that Apple’s India shipments increased in the double digits over the prior-year period to hit 800,000 units during the quarter, outpacing the entire market’s growth of 8%.

The company has benefited from a string of recent moves, such as making its devices more attractively priced, launching an online retail store, and giving a boost to local manufacturing…

Reliance Jio, India’s biggest telecom operator, is aiming to begin field deployments of 5G networks in 2021. Jio has tied up with Qualcomm to accelerate its 5G rollout, and Jio believes that it can upgrade its 4G infrastructure to 5G without much difficulty because of a converged network infrastructure.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has nearly limitless headroom for growth in India!


  1. Yeah, the 2nd greatest population in the World isn’t worth a business venture. Business with the Indians can be messy, people are beholden to Android and therefore, percentage gains will be small.

    I don’t care if the country is estimated to surpass the population of China this decade, nor if 50% of their population is under 25 yo. It’s just too challenging and some say they just don’t/won’t/can’t recognize quality products…they love cheap.

    1. I totally agree with you, but… The analysts will continue to harp on how Apple is missing out on the largest population in the world. Billions of humans to sell iPhones to. There is simply no way Apple is going to build and sell $150 iPhones. I look back on Nokia and how it tried to sell low-cost cellphones to everyone in the world and all it got them was a failed business due to low or negative margins. I know analysts seem to have this idea that highest market share is everything. Maybe it is, but not at the expense of losing money or razor-thin margins. That just stinks of foolish greed.

      I don’t have an answer as to how Apple can gain headway in the Indian smartphone market. I know how selling products to billions of consumers is a tempting thing but not at the expense of profitability.

      I remember a few years back, India refused to accept Apple’s second-hand iPhones. Seriously, that makes no sense to me. Used iPhones are still good smartphones and as a person living in the U.S., I would have no problem buying a used iPhone. Apple’s refurbished products are absolutely fine products and they seem as good as new to me. Some countries prefer to do things differently and I suppose that’s reasonable. We can’t force our ideals on everyone in the world. All I know is India is happy with Android smartphones and Apple can’t do anything about it short of taking financial losses. So, Apple better just focus on other countries that want or can afford iPhones and leave India to its own devices.

      Just know Apple will continue to take heat from analysts and pundits who insist Apple is HUGELY losing out to Android in the world’s largest smartphone market. Has any luxury brand managed to crack India’s market? I doubt it.

      1. The aspect which is often overlooked by commentators in other countries is that for the most part, Indians get internet access solely via wireless devices rather than desktops and cabled internet. Therefore 5G is immensely important to Indians and a handset which offers good 5G operation is going to be worth paying for.

        The other aspect which is often overlooked is that Indians like to show off their success and having an aspirational branded smartphone is a very attractive proposition to the large number of middle class Indians.

        India is a tricky nation to deal with, but that was the argument used against Apple selling in China. It’s not easy doing business with such nations, but it can be lucrative

    2. My comment was frothing with sarcasm…it’s amazing that people need a ” /s ” with this topic. Just too dry, I guess.

      East Indians aren’t stupid and that could be deduced when people conclude the market is too complicated & they’re too cheap and they prefer junk.

      Is the market going to flip and they’ll replace the Chinese market share in short order? No, but with a population estimated to hit 1.5 bn in just a few yrs, a fractional portion of the population added to AAPL’s mkt share would be astounding.

      There are people everywhere that know value–why would the E. Indians be different–esp if one thinks Apple products are set apart in that regard?

  2. I worked for a company that sells ice vending machines here in the US. I had a route where each ice machine was located at a liquor store, C store, grocery store, vacant lot etc.all owned by people from from India.My point? They all used iPhone’s here. I interacted with all owners on weekly basis. I saw all the workers and family as I got to know them over the7 years I was there. Even the new ones fresh of the boat. They love them here. I’m hoping they will love them there when they can afford to there. Just a small observation. They were all very tech literate. My 2 cents.

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