Apple has achieved a remarkable milestone in India, one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world. According to the latest report from Counterpoint Research, Apple has become the fifth largest iPhone seller in India in the second quarter of 2023, surpassing Vivo and Realme.
The report attributes Apple’s success to several factors, including the launch of the iPhone 14 series, which offers a range of models with different features and price points, catering to various segments of consumers. The iPhone 14 series also supports 5G, which is rapidly expanding in India thanks to the efforts of Reliance Jio and Airtel.
Another factor that boosted Apple’s sales in India was the strong performance of its online store, which opened in September 2020. The online store offers various benefits to customers, such as trade-in options, financing schemes, free engraving, and AppleCare+. The online store also helps Apple to directly engage with its loyal fan base and offer them a personalized shopping experience.
Additionally, Apple has been investing in its offline retail presence in India, partnering with local distributors and retailers to increase its reach and visibility. Apple has also opened its first physical store in Mumbai in March 2023, which has attracted a lot of footfall and media attention. The company plans to open more stores in other major cities, such as Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, in the near future.
The report estimates that Apple sold 3.2 million iPhones in India in Q2, 2023, accounting for 6.8% of the market share. This is a significant increase from Q2, 2022, when Apple sold 2.1 million iPhones and had a 4.7% market share. Apple’s growth rate of 52% year-on-year is also higher than the overall smartphone market growth rate of 38% year-on-year in India.
Apple’s rise in India is impressive, considering that the country is dominated by low-cost and mid-range smartphones from Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and OnePlus. Apple’s premium pricing and limited product portfolio have often been seen as barriers to its expansion in India. However, Apple has managed to overcome these challenges by offering value-added services, enhancing customer loyalty, and improving its brand image.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly expressed his optimism and commitment to the Indian market, calling it a “very important” and “very exciting” opportunity for the company. He has also praised the talent and innovation of the Indian developers and entrepreneurs, who have created many popular apps for the App Store.
Apple’s rise in India is impressive considering that the country is dominated by low-cost and mid-range smartphones from Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and OnePlus. Apple’s premium pricing and limited product portfolio have often been seen as barriers to its expansion in India. However, Apple has managed to overcome these challenges by offering value-added services, enhancing customer loyalty, and improving its brand image.
One of the main rivals of Apple in India is Samsung, which is currently the second largest smartphone seller in the country after Xiaomi. Samsung has a more diversified product portfolio than Apple, offering smartphones across various price segments and features. Samsung also has a strong offline distribution network and a loyal customer base in India.
However, Samsung has been facing some challenges in India as well. The report from Counterpoint Research shows that Samsung’s market share dropped from 22.8% in Q2, 2022 to 19.6% in Q2, 2023. Samsung’s growth rate of 25% year-on-year is also lower than Apple’s and the market average. Samsung has been losing ground to Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and OnePlus, which offer more affordable and innovative smartphones with better specifications and design.
Samsung has been trying to regain its momentum in India by launching new models such as the Galaxy S22 series and the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 foldable phones. Samsung has also been investing in its online presence and marketing campaigns to attract more customers. Samsung hopes to leverage its brand reputation and customer service to compete with Apple and other players in the Indian market.
Apple and Samsung have different strategies and target audiences in India. While Apple focuses on the premium segment and offers a consistent and seamless user experience across its devices and services, Samsung caters to a wider range of customers and offers more variety and flexibility in its products and features. Both companies have their strengths and weaknesses, and both face opportunities and challenges in the Indian market.
With India’s smartphone penetration expected to reach 60% by 2025, according to IDC, there is still a lot of room for growth for Apple and other players in the market. Apple’s strategy of focusing on quality over quantity, customer satisfaction over market share, and long-term vision over short-term gains seems to be paying off in India.