Research Firm Predicts First Fall In iPhone Sale In India In 4 Years

According to the industry research firm Counterpoint, iPhone maker Apple is set to record its first yearly drop in of its iconic smartphones in the Indian market in the last four years. The research firm also predicted that this would be because of a fall in the sale of iPhones in the fourth quarter of the current year which is also the festive season for the Indian market.

Last week, the Cupertino, California, US, based company announced a set of sales forecasts that were quite disappointing and blamed the drop in forecast to the company’s potentially bad performance in some of the big emerging markets. Apple Inc has been struggling to gain market share in the 1.3 billion customer base of the Indian market and the announcement by Apple last week has shifted focus to the emerging market of India.,

Sales would be flat in the Indian market in the fourth quarter, predicted Chief Executive Tim Cook while publishing the third quarter results of the company. The fourth quarter in India also includes a month which is the festive season in India which culminates with the festival of Diwali which is being celebrated this week and is considered to be a very good period for sale of electronic gadgets.

The study conducted by the HongKong-based Counterpoint Research has indicated that the number of iPhone that could be sold in the Indian market would be in the range of 700,000 to 800,000 units for the fourth quarter compared to a million units sold by the company in the same period a year ago, said Neil Shah, research director of the firm.

The research predicts that about 2 million units would be sold by Apple for the entire of 2018 which is a drop of about a million smartphones that the company had sold for the entire of 2017. The research report blamed the trade tariffs and a weak rupee for the decline in sale of iPhones.

“Sales are set to drop for the first time in four years,” Shah said. “If you look at Q3 – it was 900k last year and this (year) is almost 450k. iPhones have gone costlier and the features and specs aren’t that compelling. The install base of android has grown vastly; the new customer base (for Apple) is not coming.”

The issues and challenges that Apple is facing in India were described as “speed bumps along a very long journey” by Cook on Thursday and added that the most analysts are of the view that the prestige and aura of Apple’s brand would ultimately help the company to capture more market share in the near future with the growth in the purchasing power of Indian consumers.

Shah said that the revenues generated by Apple from the Indian market would be either flat or slightly more than the revenues last year because of higher price of its products in India despite the drop in sale of units and even though more than half the phones that have so far been sold in the Indian market are older models of iPhones.

(Adapted form Reuters.com)

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