After struggling to grow its handset sales during 2018, consumer technology giant Apple has finally turned around its India business. The marketer of popular smart devices like iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks has managed to grow its revenue and profits at a healthy rate during 2019-20.
Annual filings, sourced from Tofler, show Apple India’s operating revenue stood at Rs 13,623 crore — 29 per cent higher than it had reported for 2018-19. The firm’s net profit jumped to Rs 926.3 crore — growing 253 per cent over the previous year.
The numbers reflect a V-shaped recovery in the firm's business. The sharp rebound in FY20 came after the company’s revenue and profit nosedived in FY19. While its operating revenue fell by 19.2 per cent year-on-year from Rs 13,049 crore in FY18, net profit had plunged by 71 per cent from Rs 896.3 crore.
At the end of FY20, Apple India’s total assets grew to Rs 7,113 crore, 44.5 per cent higher than in March 2019 — its highest ever.
According to experts, the success did not come by fluke. Since its new India strategy came into play, the firm reduced the gap between global and India launch dates, increased distribution with local tie-ups like with Reliance Jio and streamlined its India pricing. Further, beginning local manufacturing of the last iPhone models boosted its fortunes.
In 2019, Apple brought down the launch price of iPhone 11 series by over 15 per cent to Rs 64,500 — lowest in many years. Additionally, with locally made iPhone XR, since mid-2019, Apple managed to cut prices further.
In July-September 2019 quarter, Apple recorded its highest ever sales in India. And, in the festive quarter that followed, it recorded a high double-digit growth in sales, CEO Tim Cook said.
Counterpoint Research says Apple was one of the fastest-growing smartphone brands during the quarter, driven by multiple price cuts on its iPhone XR model.
Localisation of the production of new models, such as the XR, helped bring prices down.
The success of the iPhone 11 models — launched in October last year — overtook that of iPhone XR, and by December 2019, Apple had regained top spot in the premium segment (priced above Rs 30,000) from OnePlus.
“Additionally, 2019 saw the fastest rollout of Apple’s new iPhones (11 series) in India, with aggressive pricing and a good channel strategy. In fact, the new series, especially iPhone 11, was introduced at a lower price point than iPhone XR last year. This has helped gain share during the festive season and in its launch quarter in India,” Counterpoint said.