India is an “extraordinary market”, says Apple CEO Tim Cook, citing “all-time revenue record”

Global tech giant Apple is increasing its footprint in India, both in terms of sales and production, and CEO Tim Cook sees this as “an extraordinary market”, with “a lot of people moving into the middle class”, thereby increasing the pool of people who could become consumers of high-end products.

Apple CEO Tim Cook with a young customer at the store opening in New Delhi in April 2023. Photo courtesy: X/@tim_cook

During a conference call this week announcing Apple’s 2023 fourth quarter earnings, Cook said that “distribution is getting better, [and there are] lots of positives” in India. Apple announced financial results for the quarter ending on September 30, 2023. It posted quarterly revenue of USD 89.5 billion, down 1 per cent year-on-year from USD 90.1 billion.

During the call, describing India as a “major focus” for Apple, the CEO said that the company had a “low share” in the country’s large market and there was a “lot of headroom” for growth.

Apple CEO Tim Cook watches a floral rangoli being created during his April 2023 visit to India. Photo courtesy: X/@tim_cook

Cook, who was in India in April this year to open the first two Apple retail stores — in Mumbai and Delhi — said that “they’re doing better than we anticipated. It’s still early going, but they’re off to a good start and I couldn’t be happier with how things are going at the moment.”

He said, “We had an all-time revenue record in India. We grew very strong double-digits. It’s an incredibly exciting market for us and a major focus of ours.”

Apple has achieved September quarter records in several countries — besides India, the company did very well in Brazil, Mexico, Canada, France, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey.

iPhone revenue came in ahead of the company’s expectations, setting a September quarter record, as well as quarterly records in many markets, including China mainland, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and an all-time record in India, said the CEO.

Responding to a question on a comparison between Apple’s growth momentum in India and China over the years, Cook said that “each country has its own journey” and he “wouldn’t want to play the comparison game.”

Apple CFO Luca Maestri noted that the company was “particularly pleased” with its performance in emerging markets with revenue reaching an all-time record in fiscal 2023 and double-digit growth in constant currency. “We are expanding our direct presence in these markets from new Apple retail stores in India to online stores in Vietnam and Chile,” said Maestri.