iPhone 11 a huge hit in India, Apple leads premium segment in Q1 2020: Counterpoint

Strong iPhone 11 sales suggest the iPhone SE 2020 might do really well in India

Highlights
  • Apple saw a 78 percent year-on-year growth in iPhone sales in India
  • Apple’s growth was strongly driven by iPhone 11 shipments
  • Apple is the third fastest-growing brand in the country after Realme and OPPO

iPhone 11 has been quite popular among consumers in India, much like the iPhone XR last year. According to data released by Counterpoint Research, Apple saw a 78 percent year-on-year growth in iPhone sales in India during the first quarter of 2020. This is even more impressive when keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world over the past few months. With the lockdown being implemented in the second half of March, we’re looking at a majority of iPhone sales taking place during the January and February months. 

While Apple emerges as the leader in the premium segment above Rs 45,000, it is still nowhere close to be among the top smartphone brands in the country. The top five positions are taken by Xiaomi, Vivo, Samsung, Realme and OPPO. In terms of smartphone sales in India, January and February witnessed growth while March saw a drop of 19 percent, which is when the nation-wide lockdown came into effect. 

Strong iPhone 11 sales allowed Apple to be the third fastest-growing brand in the country after Realme and OPPO. It also suggests there is still a market for affordable iPhones in India. The iPhone 11 is priced comparatively lower than the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. Similarly, the iPhone XR was also the cheapest compared to other models that came out in 2018. This leads one to believe that iPhone sales in India will only improve once the new iPhone SE 2020 is released in the market. To recall, the iPhone SE 2020 was launched recently as the cheapest iPhone in the current lineup, priced at Rs 42,500 in the country.

In addition to the iPhone SE 2020, Apple is also looking to open its online store in India later this year and its own retail store in 2021, which show that the company is still looking to make a big push in the Indian market. However, Apple will still face hurdles in the country as iPhones become more expensive following the recent GST rate hike. The company announced price hikes on its current smartphones, and it is one of the reasons why the iPhone SE 2020 is more expensive in India compared to its US pricing of $399 (approx Rs 30,000)