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Indians went on an iPhone buying spree after government demonetized currency
India’s push to invalidate much of its cash earlier this month has taken a toll on several businesses including smartphone sales, but at least, one player, Apple will have little to complaint about.
Following India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s major announcement, Apple sold more than 100,000 iPhones in India in three days, according to industry estimates cited by the Economic Times .
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With demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, the Indian government aims to curb "black money", or the cash that remains unreported to tax authority. Following the announcement, some rushed to shopping malls to purchase gold and other luxury items including iPhones to get rid of the their existing stash of currency bills while they could.
The development comes amid other smartphone manufacturers are feeling the pain of demonetization on their revenues. Indian Cellular Association, the lobby body of handset manufacturers asked the government last week to allow use of now-defunct notes for purchase of handsets, saying that the cash crunch has costed them a staggering 50 percent drop in sales.
Counterpoint Research expects the market to shrink by 10 percent in the quarter between October and December. Though Apple is also likely losing on some of the potential customers who are now hesitating to purchase an iPhone, the sudden interest for iPhones in many has likely overshadowed that loss.
The Cupertino-based company would appreciate the sales jump in India, one of the handful places that Apple hopes will turn into a big market. At its fourth quarter earnings, Apple CEO Tim Cook had stated big expectations from India, adding that the sales of iPhone grew in the country by more than 50 percent during the most recent year.