Counterpoint reveals rising interest in iPhone beyond tier-1 cities in India

Jingyue Hsiao, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Industry intelligence provider Counterpoint data shows that amid a premiumization trend, a growing interest in iPhones is seen beyond tier-1 cities in India, where Apple hinges its hope as smartphone shipments fall elsewhere.

Neil Shah, vice president of Counterpoint Research, told the Economic Times that Apple previously focused on tier-1 and tier-2 cities in India until 2019 when Apple changed its retail and distribution policy, increasing its focus on e-commerce platforms and collaborating with large-format retail outlets to expand its products' reach in India.

Meanwhile, Shah said a growing number of smartphone users are upgrading their smartphones, benefitting premium products, especially iPhones. According to Counterpoint, a few years ago, tier-1 cities used to contribute nearly 70% of the demand and supply for Apple products, but now 60% of the iPhone sales in India come from outside of tier-1 cities.

Counterpoint's data implies a rising popularity for iPhones thanks to Apple's retail strategy and premiumization in the smartphone market. IDC expects iPhone sales in India to grow by 35% in 2023, reaching nine million units. Besides, Morgan Stanley forecasted India will likely account for 15% of Apple's revenue growth in the next five years.

DIGITIMES Research data shows that the global smartphone market has seen nine consecutive quarters of falling shipments since the third quarter of 2021 and is expected to rise by 2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023. Apple, which relies on half of its iPhone revenue, reported a full-year sales decline when it released its financial results for the last quarter.