The Economic Times reports that Apple shipped more than 5 million iPhone units in India in the previous year, which makes it the tech giant’s best year in the country so far. The report accredits the increase in iPhone sales to “aggressive marketing in the world’s second-largest market to tap into strong demand”.
In 2020, Apple began producing iPhone SE (2nd generation) in India, after former President Donald Trump began a trade war with China and impose higher tariffs. Since then, the company’s assembling partners, Foxconn and Wistron have been manufacturing iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models in India for the local market.
In 2021, iPhone sales capture 70% of the smartphone market in India
Previously, Counterpoint and Cybermedia reported that Apple’s market share in India increased to 4% by the end of 2020 due to the strong demand for older iPhone models like iPhone 11 and iPhone XR. And the company shipped more than 3.2 million iPhone units in India.
In 2021, the numbers jumped drastically to 70% of the market share in the premium smartphone market, iPhone models over $600.
The iPhone maker cornered a 70% market share in the super-premium price band — phones priced above Rs 45,000 — from 50% the previous year, taking away a chunk of share from rivals Samsung and OnePlus, they said.
The growth was driven mainly by the iPhone 12, followed by the iPhone 11. The Cupertino, US-based company is already making most of its devices in India through contract manufacturers Foxconn and Wistron, and has started trialling even its latest iPhone 13 series for local production.
Apple’s iPhone manufacturing in India has not been smooth, to say the least. In addition to facing supply constraints issues due to global chip shortage, the company’s business in the country was affected by riots over unpaid salaries, COVID-19 lockdown, unhygienic workplace and workers’ food, and other issues.
In spite of everything, the company managed to maintain a steady supply chain to produce adequate iPhone units in India. The report states:
“Despite supply-chain challenges, Apple has been able to manage its supply chains through the course of the pandemic. Apple has been diversifying its supplier base, working with multiple ODMs (original design manufacturers) to produce its flagship iPhone models,” said Prabhu Ram, head of CMR.
Reportedly, the Cupertino tech giant is also looking to sign local manufacturers to produce iPhone components in India, and its supplier, Foxconn will begin iPhone 13’s production at its factory in Chennai, next month.