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Apple Inc. Investors Should Be Excited About India

By Motley Fool Staff - May 6, 2016 at 6:27AM

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Investors might be disappointed by the numbers reported from China in Apple’s most recent earnings report, but there's another major emerging market posting impressive growth.

In this clip from the Industry Focus: Tech podcast, Dylan Lewis and Nathan Hamilton look at Apple's (AAPL 0.96%) potential for growth in the Indian market. Find out how much sales have grown in India this quarter, and some of the unique challenges that India presents Apple and other global retailers.

A transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on April 29, 2016. 

Dylan Lewis: If you're looking for a regional market to be excited about as an Apple investor, I think it's India, just based on the most recent call. [CEO] Tim Cook, in talking about the market potential there, said: "India is where China was maybe seven or 10 years ago." For the region, iPhone sales this most recent quarter were up 56% year over year. That's obviously a bright spot in that report. 

The retail business is a little bit different there, because you don't have these telecoms, the wireless providers, acting as a storefront for smartphone manufacturers. They have to build out their retail presence. So the challenges there are quite different. But, if you're an Apple investor and you want something to put in your bull cap, that's one of the things.

Nathan Hamilton: Yeah. One thing to look for, if you pay close attention to Apple and what happened with the government in India is, a lot of American companies have had difficulties opening up brick-and-mortar establishments within India. So, you kind of have to look at that to change. Over time, Wal-Mart has been able to, and some other retailers have been able to. But, it's definitely a roadblock with the government that it does slow down growth from what it could be. What they've had recently is very impressive growth, but it could be even better if things were firing on all cylinders with the government, which we know probably won't happen.

Lewis: Maybe that'll change in time.

Hamilton: Yeah. But, it's interesting, when you back it up to their product strategy as a whole with the iPhone SE. Obviously, that's a play for markets like India, where there is huge competition from the likes of Xiaomi. They're hitting it hard with very good, high-quality phones, some say on par with what the iPhone offers, for a far cheaper price.

Lewis: Yeah, the price point is dramatically different.

Hamilton: Yeah. They have a really good strategy in India so far. Apple will be bumping up against them quite a bit.

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