India biz doubled in Dec qtr, feel good about trajectory: Apple CEO Tim Cook

Yoshita Singh
·3-min read

New York/New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) Apple has doubled its business in India in the December quarter on the back of strong performance of its online store, and the tech giant sees a good growth trajectory going ahead, its CEO Tim Cook said.

The Cupertino-based tech giant posted an all-time record revenue of USD 111.4 billion globally for the first quarter ended December 26, 2020, up 21 per cent year-on-year. International sales accounted for 64 per cent of the quarter's revenue.

'... If you take India as an example, we doubled our business last quarter compared to the year-ago quarter. But our absolute level of business there is still quite low relative to the size of the opportunity,' Cook said during an analyst call.

The company, which competes with players like Samsung and OnePlus in the premium smartphone segment, has been aggressively ramping up its presence in the Indian market.

'India is one of those, where our share is quite low. It did improve from the year-ago quarter. Our business roughly doubled over that period of time. And so, we feel very good about the trajectory. We are doing a number of things in the area. We put the online store there, for example, and last quarter was the first full quarter of the online store,' Cook said.

Apple launched the Apple Store online in India on September 23, offering Apple’s full range of products and support directly to customers across the country for the first time.

He added that the online store has received great reaction and has helped the company achieve the strong set of results last quarter.

'We're also going in there with retail stores in the future. And so, we look for that to be another great initiative and we continue to develop the channel as well,' he said.

Apple plans to set up brick-and-mortar outlets in India in addition to the online store as the iPhone maker looks to further cement its position in one of the world's largest smartphone markets. In the past, Apple has stated that it is keen on offering online and in-store experiences to Indian users that are at par with its global standards and that it aims to open its maiden retail store in India.

Cook said the company hit a “new high watermark” for its installed base of active devices, with growth accelerating as it passed 1.65 billion devices worldwide during the December quarter.

IPhone grew by 17 per cent year-over-year, driven by strong demand for the iPhone 12 family. The company’s active installed base of iPhones is now over 1 billion.

'The customer response to the new iPhone 12 models' unprecedented innovation from world-class cameras to the great and growing potential of 5G has been enthusiastic, even in light of the ongoing COVID-19 impact at retail locations,' he said.

IPad and Mac grew by 41 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, “reflecting the continuing role these devices have played in our users' lives during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The growth seen by Apple has been noted by research firms like Counterpoint.

According to Counterpoint, Apple captured the sixth spot in terms of shipment in India in the October-December 2020 quarter with 171 per cent year-on-year growth, and 93 per cent growth in 2020 over the previous year. The report said the launch of the iPhone 12, aggressive offers on the iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 11, and online expansion had driven this growth.

For the first time, the brand crossed 1.5 million shipments in a single quarter, it further noted.

During the analyst call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said the global December quarter business performance was fueled by 'double-digit growth in each product category, which drove all-time revenue records in each of our geographic segments and an all-time high for our installed base of active devices'. PTI YAS SR DRR DRR