For Apple, India Is the Next China
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For Apple, India Is the Next China

Apple’s move to open its famed retail store in India signals the market is a high priority

By MEGHA MANDAVIA
Tue, Apr 11, 2023 8:33amGrey Clock 3 min

Apple’s playbook in India is evolving, from testing the country as a counterweight to China’s supply-chain dominance to viewing it as an emerging growth hub for demand.

Both of these strategies are working off each other.

Last week, Apple unveiled the look of its first retail store in India that is set to open this month, signalling India’s growing importance for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. Until now Apple has sold iPhones and other products in the country mostly through resellers, e-commerce websites and large format retail chains. With the opening of its own famed brick-and-mortar store, it is adding another critical layer to this wide distribution.

The move isn’t surprising given Chief Executive Tim Cook in February called India a major focus for Apple, adding that the company is putting a lot of emphasis on the market. On the call, Apple said it posted record iPhone revenue in India in the December quarter, though they didn’t give a specific figure, even as overall revenue declined.

It is no secret that Apple has been growing its manufacturing base in India as it works on a China + 1 strategy. But this narrative has overshadowed India’s steady climb up the luxury ladder over the past few years, and the opportunity it presents for Apple to find the next lucrative market similar to China.

Making iPhones and then selling them in India ensures a smooth supply chain—a page directly out of Apple’s massive success in China over the past decade. Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, believes that now the company will have “skin in the game” building out production in India with retail success along the way.

For several years, Apple struggled to make a dent in the Indian market and compete against more affordable Chinese models. Only now is it gaining traction. Apple had a mere 1% market share in 2019 and may cross a 5% share this year in the country’s overall smartphone market, according to Counterpoint Research. To be sure, that contrasts with Apple’s market share in China of 22% in the last quarter of 2022.

Still the market has potential, even if prices of iPhones may have to come down further. According to another research firm, Canalys, India’s premium smartphone segment, defined by sale prices above $500, has doubled to 6% of overall market share last year from 3.1% in 2019, and Apple’s share of this segment was at 60.13% last year.

Harsh Kumar, an analyst at Piper Sandler, argues that India and China are quite similar in their demographics and even in their potential buying power, at least in large cities—and that India can show large numbers for Apple with some effort.

India is the second-largest smartphone market globally, both in terms of annual shipments and sales, accounting for almost 12% of the global market, according to market intelligence firm IDC. Despite this, smartphone penetration is still less than 50%—providing an unmatched potential for growth for Apple.

Navkendar Singh, an analyst at tech researcher IDC, believes that Apple’s work on channel expansion, focus on affordability through attractive trade-in programs, discounts, cash-back offers and better pricing on prior-generation models are finally bearing fruit. But the gap between Apple and other models is still quite wide—the average selling price of a smartphone in India was $206 last year, excluding taxes, vs. $898 for an iPhone, according to Canalys.

But the price of Apple’s cheapest model can go below $500 with discounts. A larger manufacturing base with a thriving component ecosystem in India could bring prices down a bit further.

India is at the forefront of Apple’s efforts to decouple from China’s factory floor but may even prove itself as a growth market—with some conditions applied, of course.



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The Great Wealth Transfer: How rich millennials will invest the billions coming their way

The younger generation will bring a different mindset to how and where their newfound wealth is invested

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Mar 1, 2024 2 min

There is an enormous global wealth transfer in its beginning stages, whereby one of the largest generations in history – the baby boomers – will pass on their wealth to their millennial children. Knight Frank’s global research report, The Wealth Report 2024, estimates the wealth transfer set to take place over the next two decades in the United States alone will amount to US$90 trillion.

But it’s not just the size of the wealth transfer that is significant. It will also deliver billions of dollars in private capital into the hands of investors with a very different mindset.

Seismic change

Wealth managers say the young and rich have a higher social and environmental consciousness than older generations. After growing up in a world where economic inequality is rife and climate change has caused massive environmental damage, they are seeing their inherited wealth as a means of doing good.

Ben Whattam, co-founder of the Modern Affluence Exchange, describes it as a “seismic change”.

“Since World War II, Western economies have been driven by an overt focus on economic prosperity,” he says. “This has come at the expense of environmental prosperity and has arguably imposed social costs. The next generation is poised to inherit huge sums, and all the research we have commissioned confirms that they value societal and environmental wellbeing alongside economic gain and are unlikely to continue the relentless pursuit of growth at all costs.”

Investing with purpose

Mr Whattam said 66% of millennials wanted to invest with a purpose compared to 49% of Gen Xers. “Climate change is the number one concern for Gen Z and whether they’re rich or just affluent, they see it as their generational responsibility to fix what has been broken by their elders.”

Mike Pickett, director of Cazenove Capital, said millennial investors were less inclined to let a wealth manager make all the decisions.

“Overall, … there is a sense of the next generation wanting to be involved and engaged in the process of how their wealth is managed – for a firm to invest their money with them instead of for them,” he said.

Mr Pickett said another significant difference between millennials and older clients was their view on residential property investment. While property has generated immense wealth for baby boomers, particularly in Australia, younger investors did not necessarily see it as the best path.

“In particular, the low interest rate environment and impressive growth in house prices of the past 15 years is unlikely to be repeated in the next 15,” he said. “I also think there is some evidence that Gen Z may be happier to rent property or lease assets such as cars, and to adopt subscription-led lifestyles.”

Impact investing is a rising trend around the world, with more young entrepreneurs and activist investors proactively campaigning for change in the older companies they are invested in. Millennials are taking note of Gen X examples of entrepreneurs trying to force change. In 2022,  Australian billionaire tech mogul and major AGL shareholder, Mike Cannon-Brookes tried to buy the company so he could shut down its coal operations and turn it into a renewable energy giant. He described his takeover bid as “the world’s biggest decarbonisation project”.

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