Apple India logs record quarter: PC, smartphone, iPad biz grows rapidly

Topics Apple  | iPhone | Apple India

According to the market research firm IDC data, in January-March Apple recorded its biggest quarter for personal computer (PC) shipment in India and captured fifth spot for the first time
Consumer technology giant Apple registered record business in the January-March quarter, backed by an unprecedented surge in its all key product categories. The US major clocked the highest ever shipment in personal computers, regained top spot in the premium smartphones market, and grew its iPad business rapidly as consumers in India invested in electronic devices. 

Apple was a fringe player in all key categories like smartphones, notebooks, and tablets till recently. But with the last quarter’s record-breaking performance, the brand has established itself in the country’s price-sensitive consumer electronics market.

According to the market research firm IDC data, in January-March Apple recorded its biggest quarter for personal computer (PC) shipment in India and captured fifth spot for the first time, matching the long-standing Chinese brand Asus. 

As the shipment of Macs grew by a staggering 336 per cent year-on-year (YoY), the brand captured 5.4 per cent of the local PC market.

During the period, some 167,000 Macs were shipped against 38,000 in the corresponding quarter last year. In the consumer PC segment, Apple stood fourth, after HP, Lenovo, and Dell.

While leading players like Dell and Acer registered a decline in shipment over the previous quarter (October-December), Apple grew 45.3 per cent QoQ. Even though the PC market grew by 73 per cent, Apple’s growth rate was nearly five times of that.

Macs are the largest category for Apple after iPhones.

In the smartphone space, Apple’s performance was equally impressive. According to IDC, its iPhone 11 and 12 models remained the most sold premium handsets and helped it capture nearly a third of the premium market (above the Rs 37,000 price band).

Industry estimates 

suggest YoY iPhone shipment nearly doubled during the quarter and Apple played a central role in the 143 per cent rise in premium smartphone shipment in the country. While the iPhone continues to remain an aspirational product in India, a rapid surge in its sales has made Apple the sixth largest player in the smartphone market.

In the tablets market, where Apple’s fortunes have dwindled, iPads have made a mark. According to CyberMedia Research (CMR), in the March quarter iPads grabbed second spot for the first time, replacing tablet major Samsung. As e-learning took the front seat, the shipment of iPads grew 144 per cent and the brand captured 29 per cent of the market. In the December quarter, iPads had recorded 135 per cent growth.

The second wave of the pandemic, however, may now hamper the dream run it has been witnessing since the middle of last year as lockdowns across states have severely impacted both demand and supply.

According to Jaipal Singh, associate research manager at IDC India, all PC vendors, including Apple, “are staring at uncertainty for the next few months, with new lockdowns impacting consumer sales, delaying government projects, and limiting supplies into the country”. Further, with the pandemic hitting on-ground sales forces and restrictions on the delivery of non-essential items like smartphones, PCs and tablets, sales in the June quarter are to be affected heavily.

Upasana Joshi of IDC said: “The impact for Apple is expected to be significant as most of its retail outlets are centred around high street shopping areas in major cities, which are all shut.”

Over 70 per cent of Apple products are sold through offline channels in India.

Its supply chain has begun to feel the pinch as key contract manufacturers like Foxconn are forced to cut down on production. According to estimates, Apple procures some 45 per cent of its iPhones locally while the latest models like the iPhone 12 line-up continues to be imported.

“We believe Apple will recover and maintain its momentum. Riding on its recent market success through the pandemic year, primarily driven by an increased local assembly in India and strong marketing initiatives, Apple is poised for further growth across product segments,” said Prabhu Ram, head (industry intelligence group), CMR.

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