Technology giant Apple on Tuesday reported a fall in its annual profits for the first time in 15 years to $45.7 billion (approximately Rs 3.05 lakh crore), The Guardian reported. This came even as the California-based company reported a 50% rise in the sales of its iPhone for its financial year ending September 2016, according to The Economic Times.
The company recorded sales worth $215.6 billion (approximately Rs 14.39 lakh crore) for the period, an 8% decrease from last year’s record total of $233.7 billion (approximately Rs 15.60 lakh crore). The drop in annual profits also came after three successive quarterly falls in sales, leaving analysts concerned that most people who could afford the company’s products already had one, leading them to not buyer newer iterations.
However, Apple said it was “excited” about its growth prospects in India. “We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of this large and growing market opportunity,” said Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook. “There’s going to be a lot of people there [in India] and a lot of people in the middle class that will really want a smartphone, and I think we can compete well for some percentage of those,” he said, adding that the country and mobile carriers operating there were heavily investing in 4G networks.
The company has made positive moves towards developing markets such as the introduction of a lower-cost version of the iPhone as well as partnering with newly-launched Indian mobile carrier Reliance Jio to offer the handset with various voice-calling and data programmes. Head of research firm Conlumino Neil Saunders said that while Apple’s products were still seen in positive light, “the distance between Apple and its competitors is nowhere near as great as it once was”, according to Reuters.