Statistics from two research firms (Counterpoint and CyberMedia) indicate a year-on-year doubling of Apple’s iPhone sales in India during the fourth quarter of 2020. Apple probably isn’t overly excited over the actual sales figures though, as sales measured in at a rather small 1.5 million units.
The increased sales were the result of strong sales of older, cheaper iPhone models such as the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and iPhone SE. Sales also benefited from a strong interest in Apple’s iPhone 12. Apple had its best quarter ever in India. overall, with sales doubling in the country to give the Cupertino firm 4% of the market in Q4. 2020 sales in total rose 60% at more than 3.2 million units.
Apple has long struggled to be a major player in the Indian market, due to its higher-priced hardware. The company has worked to resolve this by selling older iPhone models and by building certain devices in India. The company also charges lower subscription rates for subscription services like Apple Music.
By building devices in-country, Apple avoids the heavy Indian tariffs on imported electronics. However, there have been problems at in-country plants, as Apple assembly partner Wistron recently saw an employee riot break out at its Narasapura plant, where it assembles iPhone 7 and second-generation iPhone SE units.
Apple heightened brand visibility in India last year with the launch of the online Apple Store, Apple is expected to begin building a brick-and-mortar presence in the country in 2021.
Reports on Apple unit sales such as these from Counterpoint and CyberMedia are somewhat unreliable, and Apple CEO Tim Cook in the past have criticized such reports.