Early India Availability of iPhone 13 Series, Older iPhones to Help Apple Cross Highest Ever Shipments in 2021: Experts

AppleThe early availability of the iPhone 13 series in India along with markets like the US will help Apple post strong year-on-year growth in India, capturing a 2.4% share in the coming Q4 2021. The growth, however, will be largely driven by last year’s iPhone 12, helping it achieve its highest ever 4 million unit shipments, as per Counterpoint estimates.

The smartphone major on Tuesday night launched its iPhone 13 series, which includes four new iPhones – iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The iPhone 13 mini will be available at a starting price of Rs 69,900, while the iPhone 13 will be available at a starting price of Rs 79,900. The iPhone 13 pro will be available at Rs 1,19,990 and iPhone 13 Pro Max will be available at a starting price of Rs 1,29,900.

“I think Apple has now a very aggressive entry point starting with iPhone SE 2020 and will go till iPhone 13 pro-Max. However, we believe that it’s the iPhone 12 series that is likely to gain traction in India and take on the baton from iPhone 11, that until last quarter captured around 60% of the overall iPhone sales,” Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research said.

Pathak said that it was observed that the share of the new iPhone within overall Apple sales during the launch quarter increasing year-on-year and this year it will be the same driven by iPhone 13. “The uptick is due to the faster availability of new models in India and more users who are willing to trade in older iPhone devices. Apple continues to go aggressive on trade-ins as well,” Pathak said.

Navkendar Singh, research director at IDC said that Apple is not as severely challenged by supplies as some other brands, although ongoing supply chain and logistics concerns can impact to some extent. “2/3rd of iPhone sales in 2021 have come from iPhone 11 and iPhone 12. With the launch of 13, we should expect aggressive affordability offers on 11 and 12 in the next few weeks, which can help Apple sustain its good run which started in Q4 2020,” he said.

The iPhone 12 too will benefit from the price cut the most, even better than iPhone 11, and is likely to be the best seller for the festive season, as per estimates.

“This will also help the premium to reach a record share of the overall smartphone market in India with Apple likely to lead in the launch quarter,” Pathak said.

“Apple could end up with close to 60% market share in Luxe segment (above Rs 50,000) where right now we only have Samsung’s Fold and Flip 3 as the latest offering in the market. Other options were launched earlier this year in this segment,” Faisal Kawoosa, founder and analyst at TechArc said.

Kawoosa said that this time there isn’t a steep price hike in iPhone’s newest launch than its predecessor. This will work positively for iPhone 13 as a series in India. Also making it available relatively earlier in India than usual will also get them more customers early on.

The recent price cut in the 12 series will further see more people buying it around this time who may not go with the latest model. Historically in India L-1 or L-2 (latest minus 1 or 2) have been contributing maximum to the iPhone sales. “However, this year iPhone 13 will also catch up fast with early availability and competitive pricing,” Kawoosa said.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said India, along with other emerging markets like Vietnam and Latin America, grew in double digits in the June quarter, driven by strong sales of iPhones in line with expectations that Apple would post its best annual performance in India after it started selling iPhones in the country.

As per CMR India, Apple recorded 140% year-on-year growth during the quarter with Apple iPhone 11 accounting for a bulk of the iPhone shipments, contributing over 60% towards overall iPhone sales.

Counterpoint, on the other hand, said that iPhone shipments grew 144% on year to cross 600,000 shipments in the quarter. The brand maintained its leading position in the ultra-premium segment (>INR 45,000 or ~$650) with more than 49% share.
Despite the lockdowns, Apple has recently done well to expand its online channel presence including its online store and that has helped, analysts added.

Apple’s contract manufacturers Foxconn and Wistron started expanding their India operations, bringing down iPhone imports sharply in the past six months, experts said.

Apple’s iPhone 12 and upcoming 13 series devices are set to spike Q4 2021 global 5G shipments to nearly 200m units, helping grow 2021 total shipments to 605m, according to Counterpoint Research.

Last year, Apple’s iPhone 12 accounted for 24% of all 5G smartphone shipments globally, despite a late launch in October. This year, with an earlier launch for the iPhone 13 and a continued strong appetite for iOS, Counterpoint sees Apple taking 33% of all global 5G shipments.

“The US will again be the biggest shipment driver globally…even without any ‘must-have’ specs, there will be a tremendous appetite for upgrading because the iOS base is old in the US. Holding periods are nearing four years. iOS faithful are ready for new devices,” Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director for North America at Counterpoint said.

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