iPhone Home screenSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • iPhone shipments are up 80% in Q1 of 2020.
  • That means Apple is finally making some progress in the country.
  • The iPhone 11 performed well.

Apple is finally beginning to make some inroads in India, with its iPhone shipments growing 78% year on year last quarter.

Counterpoint Research data states:

Apple grew a strong 78% YoY driven by strong shipments of iPhone 11 and multiple discounts on platforms like Flipkart and Amazon. In the ultra-premium segment (>INR 45000,~$600 ) it was the leading brand with a market share of 55%.

Overall, smartphone shipments in India only grew by 4%, totaling 31 million units:

January and February shipments grew annually due to new launches and aggressive promotions. However, a steep annual decline in March (-19%) due to COVID-19 outbreak restricted overall quarter growth to just 4%. The nationwide lockdown was enforced by the Indian government from the last week of March and will remain in place until May 3rd. Any signs of recovery will likely only start from the third quarter onwards. As a result, we are estimating that overall smartphone shipments will decline by 10% for the full calendar year.

One commenter noted that the effects of COVID-19 on the market in India were relatively mild. However, almost all smartphone manufacturing has been suspended in the country, and social distancing is expected to further impact capacity when restrictions lift. Looking ahead:

Consumer demand will have a larger impact on smartphone sales, as people will focus on saving and therefore limit discretionary purchases. As entry-level smartphone consumers will be the worst-hit by the lockdown, the demand for the entry-level smartphones will decline in the near-term. We believe demand will shift to the second part of the year. Even if the situation stabilizes by mid-year, people may hold-off purchasing until the festive season."

By shipments, the top vendor in India was Xiaomi, which took a 30% market share. Samsung's share actually declined to just 16%. Despite its meteoric rise, Apple didn't even break the 5 of vendors, showing it still has a long way to go.