Apple clearly sees India as a big opportunity for future iPhone growth. Analyst Gene Munster of investment firm Piper Jaffray agrees, opining that the iOS user base could grow by 62 million should Apple expand its presence in the South Asian country to the level it has reached in China.
In a research note obtained by AppleInsider, Munster refers to recent studies in noting that 17% of India’s 1.25 billion population are smartphone owners, with Apple’s market share about 3-5% in 2015. By contrast, 58% of China’s 1.37 billion consumers are thought to own smartphones.
Taking into account IDC’s figures suggesting that, in China, Apple’s 2015 smartphone market share was 10-15%, Apple sold roughly 4 million iPhones in India and about 56 million in China that year. Munster believes that, if Apple’s Indian market share and India’s smartphone penetration rate both grew to match the same levels as in China, Apple would gain a huge 62 million iOS device users in India.
Nonetheless, this is all merely hypothetical – and Apple faces various challenges in significantly increasing its hold of India’s mobile market, as our analysis attests in the new issue of AppleMagazine.