India plays key role in helping Apple overcome falling iPad sales

Global Electronics major Apple's financial results for the third quarter came under Wall Street analysts expectations, but strong iPhone sales suggest Apple could make up ground in a big way with the new iPhones coming in the next quarter. The new iPhones represent a beacon of hope because iPad sales have been disappointing with some exceptions.


Apple said iPad, the world's most popular tablet, saw a decline in sales, but sales rose by 45 percent in India during the last quarter. The overall sales fell to from 16.3 million units in the previous Q2 to 13.2 million in Q3, but India bucked the trend, even as year-on-year figures showed a decline of about 1.5 million units.


CEO Tim Cook specifically called out the Middle East and China markets as growth areas, pointing out a 50 percent plus growth, but this boost is tempered by weaker sales in matured markets. Apple is not the only tablet maker suffering this decline, as the over market has dropped. China saw the biggest growth as sales grew by 64 percent.


In India, Apple has been trying to competitively price the iPads, not in terms of the retail price, but through promotions, cash-back offers and exchange schemes. Apple sells two large 9.7-inch iPads (the iPad Air and the iPad 4) and two iPad mini SKUs in the Indian market. The iPad mini range begins from at Rs 21,900 while the iPad 4 starts from Rs 28,900.


Cook also brought up BRIC nations when talking about iPhone positives, pointing out India as a growth market. The overall growth rate in BRIC nations was 55 percent, after India performed exceedingly well in the previous quarter.  So looks like Apple is doing something right after all when it comes to India.


It may not have huge sales figures to show for it, but by bucking the decline, India could very well make Apple see the merits of a bigger retail push. To be fair, the company is pressing on when it comes to retail presence in lesser-known towns, but has yet to gain the sort of momentum that would give the likes of Samsung, Nokia and even Micromax sleepless nights.


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