A customer views an Apple Inc. iPhone XS during a sales launch at a store in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg)

Weak Rupee Part Of Apple’s Growth Challenge In India, CEO Tim Cook Says

Apple Inc. said it’s facing pressure in emerging markets, including India, due to the currency weakness that led to a rise in prices of its products.

The iPhone-maker, which reported disappointing results for the fourth quarter, is at a disadvantage in India due to its inability to produce smartphones and owning stores, according to Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook. “There are import duties in some or most of the product categories that we’re in. In some cases, they compound, and this is an area that we’re giving lots of feedback on,” he said in an investor call. Apple, Cook said, manufactures some of the entry iPhones in India and “that project” has gone well.

Cook acknowledged that business in India was flat in the fourth quarter. Yet, he’s bullish. “Currency weakness has been ‘part of our challenge’ in India,” he said during the investor call. “As you can tell from just looking at the currency trends, but I sort of view these as speed bumps along a very long journey though, and the long term is, I think is very, very strong there (India).”

The company, Cook said, is having discussions with the Indian government, hopes that it will agree to let Apple bring its own stores in the country.

iPhone sales barely grew to 46.89 million in the quarter ended September from 46.67 million a year ago, even though new models were launched during the period. Its revenue, however, rose 20 percent over the year-ago period to $62.9 billion, according to a company statement. International sales accounted for 61 percent of the total revenue, while services revenue touched an all-time high of $10 billion.

But the number fell short of analysts’ estimates and was a disappointment, putting Apple’s $1-trillion market value at risk, according to a Bloomberg report.

That’s also when the company said it will stop reporting unit sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs beginning in fiscal 2019, Bloomberg reported quoting Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri as saying.

Also read: Apple Sticks to Vintage Strategy for Selling iPhones in India