The iPhone 5 went on sale in India this past weekend and customers in the country welcomed it with open arms and open wallets. The phone was completely sold out across the country within the first 24 hours and helped confirm that there is, albeit small, a market of people looking for this type of phone in India. There were reportedly 10,000-15,000 iPhone 5s sent to India for this first round of sales.
Analysts expect the phone to sell a modest 200,000 units within the country by the end of the year. This is a small number when compared to the 5 million iPhone 5s Apple sold during its launch weekend in the rest of the world but an encouraging number for a company trying to break through into the tough Indian market.
As of early 2012, India had a total of 920 million active cell phones within the country, with this number increasing each month by the millions. While the popularity of cell phones in the country is unparalleled, the poor population makes it difficult for luxury product makers such as Apple to thrive.
In 2011, 172 million of the phones sold in India were “dumb” phones compared to a mere 11 million smartphones.
However, the popularity of smartphones within the country is increasing at an extremely fast pace. While there were only 11 million smartphones sold within the country in 2011, there were just 6 million smartphones sold the year before that. This marks an increase of 87 percent in sales within just one year.
With the skyrocketing popularity of smartphones within the country, becoming popular in the Indian market is starting to become a key goal for companies such as Apple.
If Apple can firmly embed itself early on within the country, it can make for incredible profits in the long run.