The praise for India, which has now become a regular feature at Apple’s quarterly results, came at a time when the company’s quarterly sales and profit beat Wall Street expectations, but revenue from China dipped 2.5% on growing competition and iPhone restrictions in certain government departments.
However, Cook praised India and a clutch of other markets in his assessment on results. On India, the Apple CEO said, “We had an all-time revenue record (in the September quarter) in India… we grew at very strong double digits. It’s an incredibly exciting market for us and a major focus of ours.”
However, he added that the momentum is just beginning in the market where it opened two company-owned stores for the first time this year (in Mumbai and Delhi), and where it has begun online sales through its official channel. “We have a low share in a large market and so it would seem that there’s a lot of headroom there… We see an extraordinary market – a lot of people moving into the middle class… Lots of positives, we put two retail stores there and they are doing better than we anticipated – it’s still early going but they are off to a good start and I couldn’t be happier with how things are going at the moment.”
Apple’s market share in India has been on an upswing, especially as demand for luxury products remains strong post-Covid. Apple has been investing aggressively for production (through partners such as Foxconn), retail and sales. As per numbers sourced from CyberMedia Research, Apple’s share in India has grown from 1% at the close of 2018 to 6% at the end of the third quarter of 2023, as more and more Indians purchase not only the latest iPhone but also some of its previous versions. “Apple’s success in India stems from the enduring aspirational appeal of iPhones, bolstered by increased local manufacturing, prudent pricing, and aggressive marketing efforts,” Prabu Ram, head industry intelligence group at CMR, said.
Cook said Apple achieved records in several countries, including Brazil, Canada, France, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, the UAE and Vietnam. Responding to a question on a comparison between Apple’s growth momentum in India and China over the years, Cook said “each country has its own journey” and he “wouldn’t want to play the comparison game.”