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Tim Cook on Apple's Plans to 'Invest Significantly' in India, Retail Stores, and Demonetisation

Tim Cook on Apple's Plans to 'Invest Significantly' in India, Retail Stores, and Demonetisation
  • Cook says Apple India revenue at an all-time high
  • The company is in 'discussions' to open retail stores in India
  • Demonetisation 'a great move', despite 'some overhang'

Apple reported strong holiday quarter earnings on Tuesday with both revenue and iPhone unit sales at record levels, and the profit just shy of the record numbers seen in the same quarter last two years. Revenues from all markets except China were at an all-time high as well, and this strong showing by Apple was also reflected in its India performance.

"Despite the demonetisation move in India that created lots of economic pressure there last quarter," Apple CEO Tim Cook said on the company's earnings call, "we had all-time record revenue results, and so we were very happy about that. We are in discussions on a number of things, including retail stores, and fully intend to invest significantly in the country and believe it's a great place to be."

The comments come on the back of reports that Apple is ready to start making iPhones in India, if certain conditions are met.

Specifically on the subject of demonetisation Cook said, "The demonetisation impact has not worked its way through yet. It's still definitely having some overhang. But I think in the longer term, it's a great move, and I feel really good about how we're doing there."

While Apple does not report India numbers separately, market research firm Counterpoint had earlier estimated that Apple sold over 2.5 million iPhone units in India last year, with "one-third of its total shipment coming alone from the record fourth quarter".

Earlier in the earnings call, Luca Maestri, Apple's Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer said Apple recorded strong Mac and iPad sales in India.

"We sold 5.4 million Macs [worldwide] and generated our highest-ever quarterly Mac revenue," Maestri explained. "We were very happy to report double-digit unit growth in several countries, including Japan, Mainland China, India, the Netherlands, and Sweden, as well as in the US education market.

"Turning to iPad, we sold 13.1 million units [worldwide], which was ahead of our expectations," he added. "And we posted double-digit growth in both Mainland China and India, as we've expanded distribution channels in those countries and we continue to attract a very high percentage of first-time tablet buyers."


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