Despite an acute shortage of cash and cut in discretionary spending because of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, iPhone maker Apple was able to post all-time record revenues in India for the quarter that ended December.

Apple Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Cook in a call with investors and analysts last week said that he saw the Modi government’s move to scrap high-value currency as positive in the long term. His comments come on the back of Apple posting its highest-ever quarterly revenue of $78.4 billion in the quarter ended December.

“Despite the demonetisation move in India that created lots of economic pressure, we had all-time record revenue results. Demonetisation has not worked its way through yet. It’s still definitely having some overhang. But I think in the longer term, it’s a great move,” said Cook.

While not quantifying Apple’s gains in India, the company has been able to post double digit sales and revenue growth in the country over the past four odd quarters. In October, the company reported that iPhone sales in the country were up 50 per cent in the 12 months that ended September.

Last week, the Economic Survey showed that demonetisation had impacted the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the financial year (FY) 2016-17, which dropped to 6.5 per cent from 7.6 per cent in previous FY. However, it also suggested that GDP growth would sharply rebound in the upcoming FY and is expected to be in the range of 6.75-7.5 per cent.

India is the last large open market in the world, with technology companies from across the world flocking here. For Apple, India offers the promise to drive iPhone demand, which is seen as falling in developed markets such as USA and China, in the long term, though high price points will see the company operating in the fringes in the short term.
(Business Standard)