- Special mention of India in September quarter earnings by Apple CEO Tim Cook
- Strong reception to the launch of Apple online store in the country.
- iPhone SE and iPhone 11 contributed to as much as 70 per cent of Apple's shipments through Q3 2020.
With the special mention of India contributing to Apple's record September quarter revenue, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "Geographically, we set September quarter records in the Americas, Europe and rest of Asia Pacific. We also set a September quarter record in India, thanks in part to a very strong reception to this quarter's launch of our online store in the country." Apple has posted a record September quarter revenue of $64.7 billion with international sales accounted for 59 per cent of the quarter's revenue.
Just a few days before the quarter ended and in time for the festive season, Apple had launched its much-awaited online store in India, which received an overwhelming response. Reason being, online sales for Apple have been already strong in the country with almost 30 per cent contributed through online channels such as Flipkart, Amazon and other ecommerce platforms. As online sales has increased to over 40 per cent in first half of 2020, so it made sense for Apple to push its online store in the country.
While having an online store helps Apple offer its wide product portfolio under one window, it will also help the company control pricing and discounts better. Moreover, Apple target group is familiar with online shopping; there's trust among buyers to purchase an Apple product directly from the company with the comfort of sitting at home.
"Thanks to the strong showing by the older generation iPhones, especially the iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone 11, Apple has been able to gain momentum during the quarter, despite the new iPhone cycle getting delayed. Thanks to the new online store, Apple has been able to receive a strong response for the new iPhone 12 series pre-orders," says Prabhu Ram, Head- Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR. Both the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 contributed to as much as 70 per cent of Apple's shipments through Q3 2020.
Echoing the sentiment, Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, says "Normally Apple has a muted third quarter as people are waiting for new iPhones. However, in India, the strong momentum for iPhone 11 and SE 2020 helped Apple to gain volumes in Q3. The online store came at the right time when users were pivoting their purchases more towards online."
Apple's renewed focus on India seems to have paid off. Various reports collaborate the fact that Apple has register highest sale ever in India in the September quarter this year. According to the new Canalys data, Apple registered a double-digit growth to nearly 800K units in the region during Q3. The latest number from Counterpoint Research highlighted that Apple led the premium segment (>Rs 30,000 ~$400) surpassing OnePlus even before its flagship launch, driven by strong demand for its iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone 11.
And it's not just the smartphones but Macs and iPads to have been in demand. "Thanks to work-from-home and learning-from-home in the midst of the pandemic, the Macs and iPads also contributed to the Apple story. The Apple iPad shipments, for instance, grew 56 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q3 2020," adds Ram.
While the September quarter was good for Apple, the question is whether Apple can continue this momentum in the coming quarters. The upcoming flagship iPhone 12 models are likely to further strengthen Apple's position.
Industry sources confirmed that the pre-bookings for the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have been overwhelming, the best Apple has ever received in India. And with the iPhone 12 mini coming in November, this is likely to boost sales for iPhones even further. The new iPhone 12 lineup along with the festive sales and cashback offers are likely to help Apple register another record quarter in the country.