Apple shipments in India grew 108% in CY 2021, thanks to an extended work from home and education from home. But most importantly, the discerning spending population had fewer things to splurge on. Essential wardrobe items like an expensive perfume, that high end leather bag to workplace, a head turning pair of sneakers for the morning walk, a monthly outing to a gourmet restaurant, a biennial vacation within India and an annual international vacation, among others came to a stunning halt – either the flights were not operating or the local state governments didn’t allow people to step out of home, all through the last 2 years. And all this got bundled in the form of Apple devices. From grand parents to school going kids, everyone had an apple everyday for themselves – the digital form, of course! From watching the OTT to reading, work related stuff to passionate gigs, users did everything possible with their Apple devices. (This article among most others gets done on an iPad Pro 2021 too!).
Apple had a 44% market share in the premium segment of mobile phones, that is ones which are over Rs. 30,0000 (USD 400).– Counterpoint Research
Cash back offers through the year, offers and promotions by retailers from time to time and most importantly, the availability and proximity of Apple products to consumers has endured and endeared the world’s most valuable brand to scores of otherwise frustrated Indians.
Once considered a fancy gadget, a MacBook or an iPad is today appreciated for its functionality, versatility and well, affordability. A 2021 iPad Air (without 4G) can now be purchased for as low as Rs. 27,000. AirPods are now available for as low as Rs. 19,000 and Apple Watch beginning Rs. 21,000.
An iPhone 12 which was released in 2020 and is among the company’s most successful models. is perhaps the most affordable mobile device in India right now, for as low as Rs. 28,900. Delhi based Aptronix, an Authorised Apple Reseller (AAR) has a fantastic buyback offer on iPhone 11 – with up to Rs. 25,000 towards exchange, a flat discount of Rs. 7,000 and a bank cash back of Rs. 5,000, making the Rs. 68,900 item available for as low as Rs. 28.900 at best. Such offers were unheard of even 3 years ago.
There are an estimated 400 Apple Authorised Resellers across India, a network carefully managed and controlled by a dozen companies, many of who are also distributors to the general trade. Other than this, national and regional electronic retail chains such as Croma, Reliance Digital, etc. also sell iPhones and other Apple devices as part of their offering. Lastly, Cloudtail, Amazon India’s latest seller offers same day or next day delivery for most Apple products, thus making the transaction seamless and trustworthy. Yet, over 80% of Apple product sales happen only at an offline store in India! This is quite contrary to its global sales practices, where over half of its sales comes from online.
The retail stores are now buzzing, with the iconic iPhone being the hook to draw new customers and upsell them MacBooks, iPads, Apple watches and Apple TV connected devices, not to forget the AirPods. Apple’s retail model would become a case study in India, how international brands have built a cult following among the well-travelled and exposed global Indians. Disney, Starbucks, Sony, LG and Xiaomi are among others who have take the Indian market by storm.
With the first Apple India official store set to open in the next few months in Mumbai, all eyes are on the company – be it the retailers, resellers and consumers at large.