Despite industry being critical of Apple’s strategy of moving from premium to uber-premium category, thus limiting its addressable market, especially in a country like India, the company grew by over 31% in revenues during the fiscal.
The period saw Apple launching two models in a single launch for the first time by introducing Apple X and Apple 8, with a couple of variants. Prior to this, Apple has been known for launching one model in a year, though with variants.
This was the first time, when Apple’s stellar performer, iPhone was priced in a 6-digit figure in INR, priced over Rs 100,000.
On the Tablet, side Apple continues to enjoy a very strong brand equity and a serious buyer only explores iPad for buying. With it becoming an affordable device compared to earlier pricing, it is now getting into the hands of beyond CXO community and is no longer a CXO only companion device. Tablets in India are seeing some traction in the consumer space, and in this segment, the choice is primarily between Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tabs.
After a lukewarm response to iPhone SE, the affordable version of iPhones, Apple launched iPhones SE 2 during the fiscal, which again did not see much of traction, but compared to previous version, it did do some good sales on the back of attractive schemes and offers.
Another significant developed with regards to Apple in India was it started assembling iPhone in the country. Apple signed up with Bangalore based Wistron to get its iPhone SE assembled in the country.
Though, symbolic, but it was a major achievement for Make in India that after Samsung, Apple is the 2nd major global Smartphone maker which is now ‘Made in India’. However, to make its assembly/manufacturing meaningful in the country, Apple shall have to get other models also manufactured in India if not the latest ones. India usually uses the latest minus 2, as the predominant iPhone being used by consumers. This still makes a good case for iPhone 6/7 in the country. Apple could consider getting these models also assembled in India to cater to the needs of the population.
Apple is increasingly becoming out of bounds of the masses in India, but there is no decline in its aspirational brand value. People across demographics want to get associated with the brand and own it. But, Apple has a different strategy in mind that is seems to be working upon. It appears the brand will continue to an uber-premium brand with very niche addressable market yet having one of the highest profitability and margins on sales. It is expected that Apple might sell lesser units, but that many not necessarily translate to decline in revenues.