Small increase in iPhone’s tiny Indian market share could bring in billions


iPhone sales are showing signs of life in India
A small increase in a market of 1.3 billion people sure adds up.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s current share of the smartphone market in India is just 1%. But if Apple could somehow raise that to 4% it would bring in approximately $4.6 billion in extra revenue — alongside earnings upside of 65 cents per share.

That’s according to Evercore IMI analyst Amit Daryanani. And Daryanani thinks Apple may be able to do it, too.

Apple’s attempts to increase its market share in India haven’t exactly been smooth sailing. Although Indian customers bought 140 million+ smartphones in India last year, just 1.7 million of them were iPhones. That’s a fraction of the number Apple sells on opening weekend of the iPhone in the U.S. alone, despite India having a population of 1.3 billion people.

Attempts made by Apple to change this have included slashing prices of iPhones locally. It also switched around its executive team. In 2018, Apple parted ways with three members of its executive team in India. It also hired the former Chief Customer Operations Officer at Nokia Networks to head up its India operations department.

Turning things around

To try and turn things around, Apple has started building “Made in India” iPhones to appeal to local customers. It has also launched initiatives like an app development center aimed at the Indian market. The most promising thing, however, are loosened restrictions by the government which could mean Apple finally opening Apple Stores in the country.

Daryanani writes that 80% of smartphone sales in India are currently priced under $200. However, premium smartphone sales are on the rise. If Apple can take advantage of this and raise its iPhone penetration just a few points, it could have a big impact. By comparison, in China Apple’s iPhone market share is around 9%.

“Apple has spent years lobbying for both changes and the ongoing effort by the Indian government to attract foreign companies should help Apple expand its customer base in the fast growing country,” Daryanani notes.

Source: Barrons