Apple (AAPL -0.54%) released fiscal 2022 third-quarter results (for the three months ending June 25, 2022) on July 28, and investors should have been pleased to see an improvement in sales of the iPhone at a time when the overall smartphone market was in the soup.
More specifically, Apple's iPhone revenue increased to $40.7 billion last quarter from $39.6 billion in the prior-year period. While that isn't a huge jump, it is worth noting that global smartphone sales dropped 9% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2022, according to market research firm Canalys. Apple's iPhone shipments, however, reportedly increased 8% year-over-year to 49.5 million units as per Canalys.
Emerging markets were one of the reasons behind Apple's resilient iPhone sales performance last quarter. CEO Tim Cook said on the latest earnings conference call that Apple witnessed "very strong double-digit growth in Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam." He also added that the company's revenue in India nearly doubled. That's something investors should take note of, as the Indian market presents a solid long-term growth opportunity for Apple. Here's why.
Apple is benefiting from higher smartphone spending in India
Canalys reports that smartphone shipments in India hit 36.4 million units in the second quarter of 2022, an increase of 12% over the prior-year period. That means Apple grew at a much faster pace in the Indian market last quarter.
Though the company didn't clarify its revenue from the Indian market, estimates suggest that Apple's revenue from its Indian operations was close to $3 billionin fiscal 2021. The tech giant's Indian revenue reportedly increased 68% last fiscal year. In fiscal 2022 analysts expect Apple's top line to increase another 31% in the Indian market, which would bring its revenue over there close to $4 billion.
While that looks like a small amount compared to Apple's projected revenue of $392 billion in fiscal 2022, the company's impressive growth in India at a time of high inflation means that consumers are willing to spend on iPhones. More specifically, the average selling price (ASP) of a smartphone in India stood at $211 in the first quarter of the calendar year.
Apple's entry-level iPhone SE is priced at 43,900 Indian rupees in that market, which translates into roughly $553 at the current exchange rate. So Apple seems to be enjoying solid pricing power in India. This isn't surprising, as smartphone ASPs are rising in the Indian market thanks to the transition to 5G devices. Counterpoint Research estimates that the ASP of a smartphone in India increased 14% last year.
Apple capitalized on higher smartphone spending in India by cornering a 44% share of the market for devices priced at $400 or higher. Smartphone ASPs can be expected to head higher in India this year as sales of entry-level devices decline, driven by the growing adoption of 5G.
Sales of 5G smartphones reportedly increased 163% year-over-year in the second quarter in India as per CyberMedia Research. Even better, sales of premium (priced between $325 and $630) and super-premium smartphones (priced between $630 and $1,260) increased 80% and 96% year-over-year, respectively.
So the conditions are ripe for Apple to step on the gas in the Indian market, and the company is pulling the right strings to ensure that it doesn't miss out on the lucrative long-term opportunity present over there.
India could give the tech giant a big long-term boost
According to Ericsson, 500 million 5G smartphones could be sold annually in India by 2027, with the latest wireless standard accounting for 39% of overall mobile phone users in the country. That points toward a huge jump over last year's 5G smartphone shipments of 64 million units. Additionally, the 5G smartphone penetration rate in India that Ericsson sees in 2027 indicates that this market could keep growing at an impressive pace for a longer period.
Apple's strong position in the premium end of the Indian smartphone market means that it is well placed to take advantage of this opportunity. Additionally, the company has been shoring up its manufacturing capabilities in India to make its smartphones more accessible to customers over there. Apple started making the iPhone 13 in India earlier this year. It is expected to manufacture the next-generation iPhones as well over there to reduce dependence on China, which could help Apple keep the price of the upcoming devices competitive.
Apple recorded 48% growth in iPhone shipments in India in 2021 to 5.4 million units, cornering a 4.4% share of that market. This year Apple's share of India's smartphone market is expected to jump to 5.5%, with shipments increasing to 7.5 million units thanks to an increase in sales of high-end devices. It wouldn't be surprising to see this number head higher in the long run as 5G adoption improves.
In all, Apple seems to be on its way to becoming a key player in India's smartphone space, and that could unlock a huge growth opportunity for this tech stock given the market's projected growth in the coming years.