Apple CEO Tim Cook cited India as one of the fastest-growing markets for the company. Cook called India as one of the top priorities for the company in Apple's Q3 investor call. Over the last three-quarters, Apple sales in India rose by 51 percent.
The Cupertino, California based company is trying hard to strengthen its foothold in India. When Cook came to India in May in order to understand the market, he visited temples, partied with Shah Rukh Khan and even went to an IPL match, before meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"In the first three-quarters of this fiscal year, our iPhone sales in India were up 51 percent year on year. We just announced a first of its kind design and development accelerator to support Indian developers creating innovative applications for iOS, and we opened a new office to accelerate maps development," Cook said in the earnings call.
Apple has been trying to open their own stores in the country. Since the submission of the application in January, the process has taken many twists and turns.
The company had to re-submit the applications because of the Indian government's strict guidelines. Later, after much speculation, authorities agreed to exempt Apple from the local sourcing norms for a period of 2-3 years. Cook's visit had also made a difference.
Globally, the iPhone makers performed above expectations in the Q3 results. The company sold more iPhones than expected after a slight slump in Q2. In the last quarter, Apple sold 40.4 million iPhones worldwide. But overall sales of the iPhone have dropped as compared to the previous year.
Apple earned $42.4 billion in revenue and $7.8 billion in profits in Q3. The company was happy with the $6 billion revenue generated by services such as iClould, App Store, and Apple Music as these are considered to be a weak area for Apple. Wall Street was impressed with the result and Apple shares rose 7 percent.
"We are pleased to report third quarter results that reflect stronger customer demand and business performance than we anticipated at the start of the quarter," said Cook.
After constant letdowns in China, India is the most important upcoming market for Apple. The country even took the second spot earlier this year in terms of smartphone shipments. This led Apple to open two new development and design centres in Bengaluru and Hyderabad during the CEO's visit. The company has even leased 40,000 square feet of office space in Bengaluru.
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