Indian iPhone sales plunged 50% in 2018, proving China's not the only problem
Citing data from market research firm Counterpoint Research, Apple shipped anywhere between 1.6 and 1.7 million units throughout 2018, a significant decline from the 3.2 million devices it shipped in 2017. This drop was attributed to a combination of Apple’s high pricing and tough competition from rivals – OnePlus produces flagship smartphones at a fraction of the cost.
Between 2014 and 2017, the size of Apple’s Indian business had effectively doubled in size from just 1.5 million units annually to 3.2 million units. This growth pattern was more or less on par with the market growth in the region – smartphone shipments have grown from 80 million annually to 150 million units. But rather unfortunately for Apple, its sale performance last year has now effectively set it back three years.
The growing market and Apple’s declining sales have also seen the Cupertino giant’s market share drop significantly. In fact, after capturing 2.3% and 2.4% in 2016 and 2017 respectively, iPhone sales now account for just 1.2% of all devices sold.
At the moment, it’s unclear how Apple will choose to tackle its declining sales in India. But perhaps some sort of budget offering that sits below the iPhone XR could entice consumers, possibly some sort of iPhone SE2 which may also prove a hit amongst some of the brand’s most loyal consumers.