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Business News/ News / Apple's India sales soar to $6 billion as CEO Tim Cook commences retail expansion

Apple's CEO Tim Cook is arriving in India to open the company's first local stores, as the tech giant's sales in the country reached a new record of nearly $6 billion for the year ending in March. This underscores the growing significance of the Indian market for Apple, and highlights its efforts to expand its presence and offerings in the region.

Bloomberg reports that their sources revealed that Apple's revenue in India surged by almost 50 percent to $6 billion in the latest fiscal year, up from $4.1 billion the previous year. This growth underscores Apple's increasing focus on the Indian market, as the company has struggled to capture significant market share in the country due to the high cost of its products. Apple is scheduled to announce its quarterly earnings on May 4 and has projected a decline in global revenue.

In an effort to drive growth in India, where the population is 1.4 billion, Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to launch the company's first local stores this week. The expanding middle class in India represents a promising opportunity for Apple, which is also ramping up local production. This move comes as global demand for tech products slows down.

Apple has yet to comment on its sales growth in India, despite its reliance on retail partners and online sales in the country thus far.

The tech giant launched its online store in India in 2020, and is set to open its first local store in Mumbai's upscale business district on Tuesday, followed by another outlet in New Delhi just two days later. This move is expected to boost Apple's sales efforts in India.

During the pandemic, Apple's sales in India saw a significant surge as consumers purchased iPhones and iPads to facilitate work and study from home. This trend has continued, bolstered by financing and trade-in options that have made Apple products more accessible to a wider range of consumers.

Despite its small base of just four percent of India's nearly 700 million smartphone users, Apple's market share in India for devices priced above $365 was ranked number one in 2022 by researcher Counterpoint. This market is currently dominated by cheaper local brands, as well as Chinese and South Korean manufacturers.

The launch of Apple's first local stores in India this week is expected to serve as key retail and showcase points for the company, potentially boosting sales. These stores will also double as support centers, making it easier for customers to return products and receive repairs.

While Apple does not report India revenue in its earnings statements, it posted sales of 333.8 billion rupees ($4.1 billion) in the country for the year ending in March 2022. The company is expanding its local manufacturing footprint in India, having tripled its production of iPhones to more than $7 billion in the last fiscal year, in an effort to reduce its reliance on China amid escalating tensions with the US.

However, Apple's push into India also comes with risks, such as the country's high import duties for both components and finished products, which can impact retail prices and demand. India is also known for sudden changes in regulations and rules that can result in unexpected costs for companies. Despite these challenges, the growth potential of the Indian market makes it a focus for Apple, as CEO Tim Cook has emphasized during earnings calls.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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Updated: 17 Apr 2023, 02:17 PM IST
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