India iPhone sales to fall for first time in four years: researchers

An Apple chief executive said that install base of Android has grown vastly. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 November 2018
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India iPhone sales to fall for first time in four years: researchers

  • For the whole of 2018, Apple was set to sell about 2 million phones, a drop of about a million from last year
  • Apple called the company’s problems in India “speed bumps along a very long journey”

BENGALURU: Apple’s iPhone sales are set to dip by around a quarter in India’s holiday season fourth quarter, putting them on course for the first full-year fall in four years, industry research firm Counterpoint said on Saturday.
The Cupertino, California company’s struggle to break through with India’s 1.3 billion consumers swung more sharply into focus this week after Apple blamed a disappointing set of sales forecasts on a handful of big emerging markets.
Chief Executive Tim Cook said after publishing third quarter results that sales were flat in India in the fourth quarter, which includes a month-long festive season culminating this week in Diwali — a bumper period for electronics sales.
Neil Shah, research director at HongKong-based Counterpoint Research, said on Saturday its channel checks pointed to numbers for the quarter in the range of 700,000 to 800,000 units, down from about a million a year ago.
For the whole of 2018, Apple was set to sell about 2 million phones — a drop of about a million from last year, he said, as Indians baulk at high prices for the devices, driven by trade tariffs and a weak rupee.
“Sales are set to drop for the first time in four years,” Shah said. “If you look at Q3 — it was 900k last year and this (year) is almost 450k.
“Iphones have gone costlier and the features and specs aren’t that compelling. The install base of android has grown vastly; the new customer base (for Apple) is not coming.”
Cook on Thursday called the company’s problems in India “speed bumps along a very long journey” and most analysts say that the prestige of Apple’s brand should allow it to claim back lost ground as Indians’ spending power continues to grow.
Shah said that, while more than half the phones sold this year were older iPhone models, high selling prices meant Apple’s Indian revenue should still be flat or slightly higher than a year ago.


Former Nissan chairman Ghosn appears in Tokyo court

Updated 23 May 2019
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Former Nissan chairman Ghosn appears in Tokyo court

  • It is the first of a series of hearings to iron out logistics for Carlos Ghosn’s actual trial
  • Nissan’s former chairman has hired a strong legal team as he fights to clear his name

TOKYO: Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, appeared in a Japanese courtroom Thursday for a hearing ahead of his trial on accusations of financial misconduct.
It was the first of a series of hearings to iron out logistics for Ghosn’s actual trial. The trial date has not been set, and experts say it could be months away.
Ghosn, who led the Japanese automaker for two decades, was arrested in November and charged with underreporting his income and breach of trust. He was released on bail in March, rearrested in April on fresh accusations and then released again on bail on April 25.
Ghosn insists he is innocent and says he was targeted in a “conspiracy” by others at Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan, which is allied with Renault of France, has seen profits nose-dive amid the fallout from Ghosn’s arrest.
Ghosn has hired a strong legal team as he fights to clear his name. One of his top lawyers, Junichiro Hironaka, was seen walking into the courtroom Thursday with Ghosn.
One of the conditions of Ghosn’s release on bail is that he is forbidden to contact his wife. Prosecutors say that’s to prevent evidence tampering.
Ghosn’s lawyers challenged that restriction, saying it is a violation of human rights, but the Supreme Court rejected their appeal Tuesday.
The lawyers can appeal again to have the restriction removed.
In a briefing Thursday, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Shin Kukimoto welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision.
“For married people to be together is important, but I feel there was enough reason for the Supreme Court to support us in this restriction,” he said.
Kukimoto declined comment on the hearing, which was closed to reporters and the public.
Kukimoto also said the maximum penalty upon conviction of all 15 counts of the charges Ghosn is facing is 15 years in prison and a fine of ¥150 million ($1.4 million).