The iPhone breaking out in China resulted in record sales for Apple, only to fail in the next quarter. Tim Cook claimed India would be the market to save Apple, but it’s not turning out that way.
When the iPhone hit the market in China, it resulted in record sales for Apple. That success was very short lived. The following quarter, Apple saw a swift decline in sales in China, coupled with lesser demand in their primary markets, Apple saw a decline in sales for the first time. And it was a major decline, resulting in a record breaking drop in value of Apple stock prices.
Never fear, Tim Cook was here. Cook promised the public, and more importantly, shareholders, that the miss in China was due to China’s own economic struggles. Surely it had nothing to do with the fact that Chinese consumers can purchase much more capable phones at much more affordable prices made by local manufacturers. In any event, Cook clued the public in on his plans to correct this downward spiral.
What would be the fix? A new market of course. India would be the saving grace of the iPhone. He spoke of how quickly the market was growing in India, and how much of the population was in the very demographic which is prized by the technology world. However, Apple has seen a rough road in India. Plans to open Apple stores have hit some governmental roadblocks and setbacks. Apple’s plans to sell the Indian market refurbished iPhones has been denied by the Indian government. But Apple has pressed forward.
So how are they doing?
Well, listening to Apple, it sounds like their doing very well. Apple stated during their earnings statement that India was among their fastest growing markets, and that iPhone sales had grown by 51%. But this may not be as positive news as it was presented. It may actually be very telling of the iPhone’s fate in other markets.
Boston based research firm Strategy Analytics have released their own findings of how the iPhone is faring in India, and it tells a very different story.
While smartphone shipments to India grew by 19%, Apple saw a 35% drop in their shipments vs the same quarter in the prior year. Even more telling is that the iPhone’s Indian marketshare has dropped from 4.5% (Q2 2015) to 2.4% (Q2 2016).
Someone looking at the very different presentation between the numbers Apple provided and the numbers from this research firm would assume someone isn’t telling the whole truth. And that’s not necessarily the case. Apple was speaking of earnings, while Strategy Analytics looks at various things like shipments, sand surveys. Apple stating that sales grew by 51% does not necessarily mean that more phones were sold. In fact, it could have grown because the retail cost of the phones has increased. What should frighten those fans of Apple though would be the commentary that India is it’s fastest growing market.
What if Apple’s fastest growing market is a market which is shrinking fast? That would not bode well for Cook and company.
We can tell from Cook’s strategy over the last year is not to work on the product, but to find a new market. This leads me to wonder, where to next? Where will Apple direct there attention to next to save their shrinking market share?
I have put together a list of possible new markets for Apple below. Where do you think Apple will head next? Vote below.