Aircel tries to match Jio with its latest offer
Aircel tries to match Jio with its latest offerReuters file

Sale of Apple iPhones spiked immediately after the announcement of the demonetisation move on November 8 as scores of customers rushed to buy the phones with their banned currency and some stores even booked sales through back-dated receipts.

Over 1 lakh iPhones were sold around the time, allowing the company to become the only phone maker to meet sales target in November, according to Economic Times, which cited trade estimates to conclude the ballpark figure. The figure of one lakh makes 3/4th of the company's average monthly iPhone sales.

Even though handset sales as a whole across the industry are registering a dip when compared to their sales in the same period last year, iphone sales in November are estimated to have grown by 20-30 percent.

"iPhones were sold out in most of the neighborhood stores after demonetisation. In fact, on that night (of November 8) itself, several stores sold iPhones till midnight. Some even sold them at a premium," the owner of a leading cellphone store in New Delhi was quoted as saying to the Times of India.

The surge in sales in the first few days following the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on the evening of November 8 was similar to the demand witnessed for high-value luxury items, such as gold, gems, and other precious metals.

Other reasons suggested for the surge in sales include a decline in grey market deals, easy availability of consumer finance and wider acceptance of credit cards and digital payment at stores.

In October also, iPhone beat other rivals, such as Samsung, in the sale of their premium/flagship models. Apple led with a 66 percent share of sales, and was trailed by Samsung, which accounted for 23 percent of the total sales from Galaxy S7 and similar phones. Google registered 10 percent of the sales, and only 1 percent was attributed to other makers.

"Our iPhone sales in India were up over 50 percent in fiscal 2016 compared to the prior year, and we believe we're just beginning to scratch the surface of this large and growing market opportunity," chief executive Tim Cook told analysts in October during Apple's quarterly earnings call.

While Samsung still sells more basic smartphones worldwide and in India than Apple, with a hefty price tag of Rs 60,000 to Rs 92,000 for models such as iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is able to generate sustainable profits due to their high cost.