NEW DELHI: Apple will hit 10 million users in India for its iPhones to become the 11th brand in smartphones in India having more than 10 million users or more of the brand, Cyber Media Research (CMR) said in a note on Friday.
Samsung had over 120 million smartphone users as of 2017 end, while China’s Xiaomi had over 28 million smartphone users around the same time. CMR’s analyst Faisal Kawoosa said, “…in a price sensitive market like India where 56% of the smartphones sold are still sub Rs 10,000, achieving a 10 million active users milestone is a remarkable accomplishment for Apple. At the same time, the love shown by Indians for the brand is no different to any other emerged economy like US and Europe.”
Kawoosa said that Apple will achieve this feat irrespective of its ‘Make in India’ strategy with the average level of three million shipments it does in a year.
As of end 2017, there were 8.9 million iPhone users in India and with an addition of estimated 3 million, it would surpass the 10 million mark even after discounting the switch within the brand, which is around 35%, as per CMR’s estimates.
“However, if Apple decides to go aggressive with its assembly plans in India, the milestone would be achieved sooner through the year as that would give Apple entry into mid premium Smartphone market through SE and other earlier versions of iPhone,” Kawoosa said.
Apple iPhone sales in India declined by 9 per cent in volume terms and 7 per cent by revenues during the October-December quarter compared to the corresponding quarter last year, according to Counterpoint Research, iPhone sales. For the quarter, iPhone sales in India fell to 810,000 units from 890,000. However, for the full year 2017, iPhone shipments grew 23 per cent in India at 3.2 million units from 2.6 million units in 2016.
The company, however, led with a 44% share in the above-Rs 30,000 segment, as per January data.
Apple is currently looking at making India an export hub and is working on a fresh proposal to negotiate with the government. It has been in talks with the Indian government for tax breaks and incentives to produce iPhones and expand operations for a couple of years, but has been unsuccessful so far, ET reported this wee.
“Apple wanted a lot of exemptions which would have led to a situation of discrimination vis a vis other players, therefore we explained to them the whole position. My department is now in talks with them and I understand that they are keen to make India a hub of their exports so they are reworking their proposal,” Union minister for electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, in an interview, told ET.
He added that the government will take a call on any fresh request for changes in policy or new incentives after Apple comes up with a fresh proposal.
Apple is currently chalking out details on the location of the unit, the concessions required along with the support needed from both the state as well as the central government. It is also exploring details around the share of exports and domestic production along with the partner ecosystem.
The iPhone maker does not manufacture phones, Macs or iPods on its own, but through contract manufacturers such as Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron and others, that have large operations in China.