Apple gets bullish on India market with iPhone 15 launch amid ‘huge opportunity’

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

New Delhi, September 13 (IANS): With iPhone 15, Apple has further made India a sweet spot in its future scheme of things -- ‘Make in India’ devices to roll out on the global sale day (September 22), support for ISRO-made GPS called NavIC, and availability of new products in the country along with the global markets (which started last year) – as it doubles down on local manufacturing.

Driven by the premiumisation of the smartphone market, uptick in first-time users who are shifting from Android to the Apple ecosystem and a young population, India is now among the top five global markets for Apple -- after China, the US, Japan. and the UK.

"We have seen a definitive trend where Apple is now attracting many first-time users for its newly-launched iPhones in India, apart from a robust sale of previous-generation devices which continue to increase Apple’s overall market share in the country," Counterpoint Research Director Tarun Pathak told IANS.

Pathak said that the base iPhone 15 models will see a solid uptick in India as "there is a significant upgrade for those shifting from previous iPhone 11, 12 and even 13-gen models".

Apple set a June quarter record in India, driven by the robust sales of iPhones, according to its CEO Tim Cook.

The tech giant opened its own-branded Mumbai and Delhi retail stores in the country in April this year, which met with great enthusiasm.

India is set to cross Rs 1,20,000 crore in mobile phone exports in the current fiscal year and according to the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), Apple's market share is set to exceed 50 per cent in FY24.

Driven by domestic manufacturing, Apple iPhones are set to garner 7 per cent market share in the Android-dominated smartphone market in India this year, according to latest data.

Apple iPhone shipments grew 68 per cent (year-on-year) in the first half of this year in the country.

In the first half, Apple secured a 6 per cent market share in the Indian smartphone market and dominated the super-premium smartphone segment (priced between Rs 50,000-Rs 100,000) with a robust 63 per cent market share, according to market intelligence firm CyberMedia Research (CMR).

For the first time, Apple will sell ‘Make in India’ iPhone 15 on the first day of its global sales, within the country as well as export to a few other markets sooner than ever before, according to sources.

A small set of ‘Make in India’ iPhone 15 units is set to be exported to other countries within a short span of time from its global availability which is September 22.

There are estimates that the iPhone 15 shipments in the launch quarter, which heralds the massive festive season in India, will hover around 65 per cent, driven by an increased ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Last year, the tech giant started assembling the iPhone 14 at the Foxconn facility in India in September, a first in years when a new iPhone was assembled within weeks of its global launch in the country.

This time, Apple has also extended support for the Indian satellite navigation system NavIC for its high-end iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max models for location-based services.

It, however, is yet to reveal what features will be part of the NavIC support in the country.

Apple continues to work on building out the channel and putting more investment in its direct-to-consumer offers in the country.

"If you look at it, it’s the second largest smartphone market in the world and we ought to be doing really well there and we are very pleased with our growth there," Cook said last month.

"We still have a very, very modest and low share in this smartphone market, so I think it’s a huge opportunity for us. And we are putting in all of our energies to make that occur," the Apple CEO added.