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iPhone sales in India may not be as poor as initially reported


The Times of India yesterday, citing research data from IDC, reported that iPhone sales in India have slowed down dramatically over the past few months. The research data indicated that Apple's marketshare in the country recently dropped from 4.7 percent down to 2.1 percent amidst slumping sales. As for unit sales, the data relayed that while Apple sold 230,000 iPhones during the last quarter of 2012, the company only sold 120,000 iPhones during the first quarter of 2013.

So should Apple investors be worried? Has the iPhone lost its luster, perhaps rivaled by competing products from Samsung and pushed to the side to make room for more affordable feature phones?

Not exactly.

Electronista is reporting that IDC's data may not be entirely accurate and is at odds with data from other market research firms.

The data, reported in the Economic Times, claims the company sold only 120,000 iPhones between January and March 2013 -- however IDC's own estimate of Apple's marketshare in the country suggests that in fact it sold nearly double that number, around 210,000 iPhones (using total handset sales figures from Strategy Analytics). A report from Credit Suisse in May said Apple was selling nearly 400,000 iPhones per month during the same period.

What's more, Electronista points out that with Apple significantly expanding the number of authorized resellers in the country -- from 70 to over 200 -- it's hard to fathom that iPhone sales would drop so precipitously.

Indeed, all of the previous reports coming out of India suggested that Apple's aggressive marketing campaign in the country was paying off dividends.

Apple is slated to announce its earnings from the quarter gone by on July 23, so we should have a better grasp on how iPhone sales are doing soon enough. While Apple may not release specific numbers for iPhone sales in India, one can only assume that an analyst will bring it up during Apple's always informative earnings conference call.

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