Apple is expected to gain a larger share of India’s smartphone sales, with the high-end iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models accounting for more of its shipments. The company is projected to account for 7 percent of all smartphone sales in the country from July to December, up from 5 percent in the first half of 2023, according to data from market researcher Counterpoint shared exclusively with Reuters.

The tech giant has been touting India as its next big growth driver amid declining sales of its flagship device. Its suppliers have also been ramping up manufacturing operations in the region amid weakening demand and regulatory pressure in China.

Wait times in India for Apple’s latest 15 Pro and Pro Max models, which go on sale Friday, are stretching up to late October, mirroring trends seen in China and the US. Counterpoint estimated the models will account for 25 percent of overall iPhone 15 shipments in India in the fourth quarter, a 4 percent increase from what the previous generation top-range models accounted for a year earlier.

“The premium smartphone market in India has climbed tremendously from 0.8 percent of the total market in 2019 to 6.1 percent in the first half of 2023 and this is largely attributed to Apple’s success,” Nabila Popal, a research director at market intelligence firm IDC, said.

Apple is the largest player in the segment for smartphones priced over $800 (roughly Rs. 66,300) in India, with a 67 percent share in the first half, according to IDC data. Samsung accounted for 31 percent of the segment. Apple opened two flagship stores in the country earlier this year and CEO Tim Cook said in August that the company hit “record” revenue in India in the June quarter.

Still, Apple has a long way to go before the country could bring in sales seen in the company’s major markets. Morgan Stanley, in a note earlier this month, estimated that Apple’s revenue from India is about half that of China. 

© Thomson Reuters 2023

Apple launched the iPad Pro (2022) and the iPad (2022) alongside the new Apple TV this week. We discuss the company’s latest products, along with our review of the iPhone 14 Pro on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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