The India market, which boasts 1.3 billion people, is where the China market, now with 1.4 billion people, was a few years ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the company's earnings call. "I'm very, very bullish and very, very optimistic about India," he said.
Apple is currently investing in India and launched an app accelerator center in Bengaluru this past May as a place for developers to get help from Apple's team in India. Apple also started to produce the lower-priced iPhone SE in Bengaluru in May in an effort to appeal to a population that makes an average annual income of $1,620, according to the India Times. Cook said during the earnings call that Apple is happy with the iPhone production in India so far.
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The company's next step in the country is to figure out how to expand its go-to-market in general, Cook said. "We're bringing all of our energies to bear there," he added.
Apple has a lot of room to grow in India considering it has yet to break into the top five smartphone makers in the country, according to a recent study from global market intelligence firm IDC. Samsung (SSNLF) leads with 28.1% market share, followed by Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi with 14.2% market share, Vivo with 10.5% share, Lenovo with 9.5% share and Oppo with 9.3% share. Apple is grouped into the lagging "Others" category that makes up 28.3% of the market.
For the past quarter, Apple's revenue from emerging markets, excluding China, increased 18% year-over-year. However, revenue in China dropped by 10% in the past quarter, although that's an improvement from the 14% drop it saw in the previous quarter.
Apple shares fell 1.1% to $155.51 by Thursday's close.
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