Apple’s iPhone sales continue to dip in India, but its hopes are in regulatory changes to come

Apple continues to struggle with dipping sales in India, reports from the Economic Times (ET) revealed last week. The reports also share that the company has hopes in that India is looking to change its local policy on sourcing which could have a positive outcome for Apple to open retail stores in India. 

One of the ET’s reports showed Apple’s decline in iPhone sales from January through March of this year by 42%. There was a jump in sales, however, during the month of April but once again in May and June its iPhone sales figures dipped.

According to one of ET’s reports, during the first quarter of 2019, Apple shipped 220,000 iPhone devices to India. But in April alone it shipped 200,000 units. This encouraged hopes of the company’s sales numbers rising three times for the first half of 2019.  

However, Apple is estimating a full year estimate of only a 1.5 to 1.6 million shipment which would be a 10-17 percent drop from 2018 and according to the report it would be as much as 53 percent lower than the highest shipment in 2017 of 3.2 million. 

ET says that the silver lining was definitely in April with the 200,000 iPhone units shipment. That huge huge shipment for just one month was stimulated by price cuts and discounts on select devices and the clearing out of the iPhone X models.

India is rumored to be in the process of readying to relax its policies on local sourcing because of the other rumors going around that Apple is desiring to invest in India as a production base. India has had problems with attracting foreign direct investments because of its policies. According to ET’s report, foreign direct investment into India’s economy was down by 13 percent last year.

It would certainly make a difference if India eases up on its local sourcing regulations which would encourage foreign businesses to make heavy investments into its local retail market. India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, acknowledges that local sourcing policies will be eased.

And that’s good news for Apple. Analysts, like Rushabh Doshi, who is the research manager at Singapore-based research firm Canalys, believe Apple will benefit from the easing of India’s policies. It will allow Apple to speed up its timeline to open its retail store in India. Hopefully it will coincide with Apple’s launch of its next iPhone creating an overall positive boost to its sales.

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