Apple sees a "huge market potential" for its products in India and the technology giant is "really putting energy" in the country which will begin rolling out high-speed wireless networks this year, CEO Tim Cook said.
"This is another huge one. India will be the most populous country in the world in 2022. India today has about 50 per cent of their population at 25 years of age or younger. It's a very young country. People really want smartphones there," Cook said in a CNBC interview.
LTE rollout big for company
He said in emerging markets like India, LTE (wireless) penetration is currently "zero" but as LTE begins to roll out this year in the country, the dynamics will change.
"And so that's changing. Huge market potential," he said in response to a question about the Indian market for Apple.
Cook said the company has got "great innovation" in the pipeline with new iPhones that will attract people in markets like India.
According to Cook, in countries like India, Apple penetration has been less as there is no LTE network.
"What I see is that countries like India, no LTE, so zero per cent penetration. They are selling smartphones, and we sell iPhones there. But arguably you can't get the full value from it," he said adding that retailers in markets like India are not "huge national kind of retailers".
"And the carriers don't sell phones in India. So there's a lot of work to do," he said.
Overwhelming sales in India
While sales for Apple in China, its second-largest market after the United States, fell 11 per cent in the latest quarter, in India iPhone sales were up 56 per cent from a year ago.
Noting the growth registered by Apple in India, Cook said "this is pretty big".
He said Apple is "now...really putting energy in India" as well as in other markets across the world "where I think that people sitting here in this country look at it through just a lens of what's happening in the United States. And but there are a lot of people in the world who don't have the pleasure of owning an iPhone yet."
Apple had last week announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 second quarter ended March 26, 2016.
The company posted quarterly revenue of $50.6 billion (roughly Rs 3,35,577 crore), down from $58 billion (roughly Rs 3,84,653 crore) in the year-ago quarter. Its quarterly net income stood at $10.5 billion (roughly Rs 69,635 crore), a decline from $13.6 billion (roughly Rs 90,194 crore) in the same period last year.
In a conference call following the results, Cook had said network infrastructure and retail remain among Apple's main challenges in India, with the market there today being where China was seven to 10 years ago.
Cook had said while India is the third-largest smartphone market in the world, it is dominated by "low-end" smartphones primarily because of the network and the economics due to which "the market potential has not been as great there".
-With agency inputs