Apple’s iPhone sales jump 400% in India

India is a dumping ground for iPhone4.

By R. Chandrasekaran

CHENNAI: The world’s top technology bellwether Apple’s iPhone sales witnessed a record growth of 400 percent in India in the June quarter. One of the primary reasons for Apple’s profit beating the Wall Street estimate was the robust iPhone sales in the U.S. as well as worldwide, except China.

The company’s CEO Tim Cook disclosed during the investors’ conference call on Tuesday that iPad also recorded a double digit sales growth in the just concluded third quarter in India. While pointing out that Apple enjoyed a greater success in emerging markets such as the Philippines, India, Poland and Turkey, he conveniently avoided providing break-up figures of these markets.

The company could sell 31.2 million of iPhones in the June quarter, which is significantly higher than the Street estimation of 26 million units. Apple’s iPads also recorded a sale of 14.6 million units worldwide.

It may look surprising to see such a phenomenal growth of iPhone in India since consumers in the region prefer a cheaper smartphone. However, a close look at the events of the company’s strategy indicates that Apple seemed to have used India as a dumping yard to dispose off its iPhone 4.

This opinion gains ground because of the fact that the company offered to buyback any brands in April to sell its iPhone 4 for a price of Rs.19,500 since iPhone 5’s starting price is more than Rs.45K. Significantly, Apple was willing to buyback locally made smartphones such as Micromax or Karbonn.

One of the distributors in India, Redington’s national sales head has reportedly viewed that iPhone 4 sales was very strong after the buyback offer was announced by it. Though the rivals started accusing Apple of dumping its old stocks, other leading brands, whether domestic or foreign, also joined the party to promote buyback scheme to lure the consumers.

On the iPad front, the launch of iPad Mini could have been the driving force for recording a double digit upside due to pricing factor.

In China, revenues dropped 43 percent from the second quarter and 14 percent over the previous year’s third quarter. However, in the U.S. and Japan, iPhone sales surged 51 percent and 66 percent, respectively, from the year-ago quarter.

To contact the author, email to rchandrasekaran@americanbazaaronline.com

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