Apple shipped over a million iPhones in the country in the otherwise dull first quarter of 2021, growing close to an impressive 90 per cent (year-on-year) during the three-month period. As per early estimates from market intelligence firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), iPhone 11 and XR accounted for 67 per cent of Apple's shipments during the January-March period.
On the back of increased domestic assembly, Apple iPhone 11 shipments increased 176 per cent (on-year) in the first quarter. "Apple has had yet another exceptional quarter in India, shipping over a million iPhones for the first time in, what is traditionally, a lull quarter," Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, told IANS.
Apple iPhone shipments gained in strength on the back of the enduring brand equity that Apple enjoys in the country and also, in part, "driven by evolving consumer understanding about tech not being a luxury, but a necessity", Ram added.
In the festive quarter (Q4) of 2020, Apple for the first time doubled its smartphone market share in India to nearly 4 per cent. Despite arriving in October, the iPhone 12 contributed significantly towards the rise of Apple in Q4 (October-December) in the country.
The tech giant had registered over 60 per cent growth (year-on-year) in its India business in the full year 2020 while for the festive quarter, the growth was an impressive 100 per cent (YoY). "As we move ahead, Apple does face some pandemic-related supply and demand side challenges, but we expect it to maintain its growth trajectory in H2 2021 and beyond," Ram noted.
According to Anand Priya Singh, Analyst-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, Apple's continued success in India is on the back of increased shipments of its older generation models, including the iPhone 11 and the XR, and the good reception that the new iPhone 12 has got.
"Increased local assembly of iPhones, including iPhone 12, along with aggressive marketing, will continue to contribute to Apple's success in India in the time ahead," Singh emphasised.
In yet another fillip to the Make in India and domestic manufacturing dream of the government, Apple will soon produce its flagship and environment-friendly iPhone 12 smartphone in India for the local customers.
Apple started manufacturing iPhones in India in 2017 with iPhone SE. Today, Apple manufactures some of its most advanced iPhones in India including XR, iPhone 11, and now iPhone 12.