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Wedbush analysts predict that Apple opening its first stores in India is the opening gambit of an “aggressive push” to grow its market share in the country, as well as increasing its manufacturing there.
“This week marks a significant strategic move for Cupertino as Cook will cut the red ribbon on the first India retail stores this week in Mumbai and New Delhi,” say Wedbush analysts in a note to investors seen by AppleInsider.
“For years Apple has tangentially went after the India market with some success as India revenue is only roughly $6 billion (less than 2% of global revenues) today with minimal presence in the country,” the note continues. “That dynamic will be changing as Apple is now aggressively looking at India from both a production and retail expansion over the coming years that we believe will be a strategic poker move for Cupertino that could ramp annual revenue to $20 billion by 2025 in India.”
Wedbush is consequently keeping its $205 price target, set in early April 2023.
It isn’t increasing that target because “Rome was not built overnight and neither will Apple’s broader India strategy,” but “we view this week as Apple diving into the deep end of the pool in India as this massive market slowly converts into the Apple ecosystem over the coming years with iPhone market gains front and center.”
Apple plans for the long game
According to Wedbush, Apple’s current iPhone market share in India is below 10%.
“We believe Apple through its unmatched marketing and brand presence will be able to turn India into an incremental growth catalyst as the anniversary iPhone 15 hits the market in the September timeframe,” say the analysts.
Wedbush also believes that it is seeing Apple repeating the approach it previously made with China. In China, Apple developed retail stores in parallel with enhancing manufacturing with firms like Foxconn.
“As Foxconn/Apple put more skin in the game on the iPhone production front within India,” say Wedbush analysts, “this will go hand in hand with a bigger retail presence within India as seen this week which mirrors the early days of the China penetration strategy going back a decade.”