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India sales a big boost

Cook: Upbeat

Mumbai, April 24: Apple Inc has reported a 55 per cent jump in revenues from its Indian operations — underlining the fact that the global technology giant, which reported revenues of $45.6 billion in the three months ended March 29, has started to see major traction in emerging markets.

“We have had the largest total sales of the iPhone in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries,” Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook told analysts at an earnings call last night soon after presenting the second-quarter results.

Besides India, Apple saw some strong numbers in what he called the “historic prepaid markets” — Brazil (61 per cent), Russia (97 per cent), Turkey (56 per cent) and Vietnam (262 per cent).

“iPhone sales in India and Vietnam more than doubled,” said Luca Maestri, vice-president (finance ) and corporate controller, who will take over as Apple’s chief financial officer in June. The robust surge in iPhone sales in price-sensitive India was underpinned by key organisations that were “leading the charge to replace legacy devices and systems,” Maestri added.

In Greater China, the maker of iPhones, iPads and Macs smashed revenue records with overall sales of $9.8 billion.

The iPhone craze in Asia was largely driven by the older generation iPhone 4, which has seen big sales in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe. It’s one of the reasons for the $41 decline in the average selling price of the iPhone to around $596.

“We’ve seen our ability to attract new users to iPhone to be very significant in the emerging markets,” Cook said, adding that in certain geographies it was as high as 80 per cent of new users. “We may not be able to attract some of those buyers to our top phone because of the price point. But the entry phone gives them a great product at a great value and gets them into the ecosystem.”

The Apple CEO also said 85 per cent of the iPhone 4 buyers were first time iPhone buyers, while 69 per cent of the iPhone 5C buyers were first-time buyers, most of them being “Android switchers”.

Apple, which is trying to beat off the competition from Android phones, is gearing up to launch a stream of products later this year.

“We’re eagerly looking forward to introducing more products and services that only Apple could bring to the market,” Cook said but did not provide any details, which isn’t surprising for a notoriously secretive company.

 
 
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