Last week we posted a report titled "Apple Officially Reapplies to Open Apple Stores in India after the Government Relaxes its Laws." In June we reported that Apple had added a fifth iPhone distributor and it seems to have paid off as today we're learning from Counterpoint Research that "Apple's October-December quarter for India was its best ever in the country with iPhone shipments crossing 800,000." The Indian report noted that "This is significant growth if one considers that Apple only shipped a total of 1.7 million iPhones in India for its entire fiscal year 2015."
Counterpoint's senior analyst Tarun Pathak stated in the report that "Apple's sales grew due to price-cuts and aggressive marketing campaigns." Pathak added that "A wider distribution network than ever before also helped boost sales; Apple now has five distributors in the country and thus has more reach."
It was also noted that Counterpoint's data shows that Apple's numbers were also up thanks to the sale of older iPhone models like iPhone 5s, which saw a massive price-cut and was retailing at a price-segment of Rs 20,000 during the quarter. Pathak adds that the price-cuts, coupled with aspirational value attached to the Apple brand, helped it win over more users.
Apple's meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi last September, as noted in our cover graphic, was likely the event to have set the wheels in motion for Apple's latest moves to apply for permission to build their first Apple Store in India last week. If Apple is able to get permission to start construction quick enough, there could be a number of flagship stores open in time this fall to excite sales of their next generation iPhone 7 in India.
And lastly, Apple is likely to introduce a new lower priced 4" iPhone model later this year that might be able to better compete in emerging markets. Although Apple set a new sales record in India last quarter, I'm sure that Apple is working hard to see more than 10 times that sales volume reached by 2017.