Apple’s iPhone woes don’t look like they’ll end anytime soon. A new report suggests that iPhone shipments in India have fallen by as much as 50% since last year and that this is the lowest the sales have been in at least four years.
In its report, The Economic Times notes that shipments to India fell from about 3.2 million in 2017 to just 1.6 million in 2018. The report also notes that OnePlus shipped 500,000 phones to Apple’s 400,000 in the October-December period, but this isn’t unexpected. OnePlus’ phones are categorised as premium smartphones, but they retail at less than half the price of Apple’s flagships and target an entirely different audience.
Considering the weak demand, Apple has already revised its earnings estimates down by several billion dollars. Other reports also indicate that Apple is, for the first time, getting third-party sellers to offer discounts on its products. iPhones in China and iPad Pros and HomePods in the US have been discounted by $100. Apple is also prominently advertising trade-in programs and carrier discounts on its homepage, something we haven’t seen in a very long time. It also doesn’t help that the sale of certain models of iPhone have also been banned in Germany as a result of an ongoing legal battle with chipmaker Qualcomm.
Apple blames its poor performance on market factors like the ongoing US-China trade war and the fact that people are holding on to their ($999) iPhones for longer. Apple also claims that last year’s battery replacement program affected sales. Several analysts believe that the poor performance is simply a result of Apple’s devices being extremely expensive. In a market like India, where Apple’s expensive devices sell at an additional 30-40 percent premium, it’s to be expected that sales will drop.