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Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus launch in India: Long queues outside stores, but shortage of units disappoint customers

Long queues of people outside the stores, short supply of iPhone 7 Plus models, and disappointed customers; the debut of Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 in India received a mixed response on day one of sales.

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R-city mall, Ghatkopar, Maumbai


Contrary to the traditional midnight launch in India, this year the Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus went on sale on October 7 at 7pm. Adding to the frenzy around the latest iPhones are the ongoing festive season and bumper discounts offered by e-commerce platforms. There has always been a huge buzz around the iPhone sales in India, and this year too it was no different. BGR India stepped out to gauge the excitement and initial response of the iPhone 7 customers. As expected,  some locations such as the DLF Cybercity mall in Gurgaon and Mumbai’s Maple Store witnessed people thronging outside the stores, but in other locations the turnout was poor.

While many users had pre-registered for the smartphones, a lot of them were not able to get their hands on their choice of model the day it went on sale. One disgruntled customer named Paras told BGR India, “I wanted to buy the iPhone 7 Plus 32GB variant. I had also paid the pre-registration amount of Rs 4,000 and after standing in the queue from 3PM, I am told that they don’t have iPhone 7 Plus units. The resellers did not care to even inform us beforehand. It is such a waste to stand here for so long for nothing. Now, they have told us that the model will be available after three days. Most of the people here are for the iPhone 7 Plus model and they don’t have it. I am only hoping that they make the device available at the promised date later.”

While customers like Paras were turned down over the lack of availability, for another customer, Shivam, the purchase was a smooth process. Shivam, who is a resident of Delhi and uses an iPhone 5S, had registered for an iPhone 7 in Rose Gold color and was able to purchase his desired model in 32GB in one go. He said, “For me, it is a major upgrade from iPhone 5S to iPhone. Many people here are fighting over the iPhone 7 Plus but I wanted an iPhone 7 and got it in one go.” Upon asking why he didn’t consider buying it online, Shivam added, “I find it less riskier to buy from a store than going online.” Users also have the option to exchange their older iPhone for a discount on the newer one, but for Shivam, the older device will be passed onto his mother while he will use the swanky new Rose Gold iPhone 7.

At the Maple Store in Mumbai, fans lined up before the launch in anticipation to grab the latest iPhones. Such was the frenzy that people had queued up in front of the store since 11AM and were eagerly waiting for the store to let them in. However, a lot of customers there too complained about not getting the latest iPhones. People, who have already pre-ordered the phone and came to pick their devices, complained about not receiving call for confirmation from the store. A customer Neha Kumar who expressed her disappointment about the mismanagement and the non-availability of devices. Neha had pre-booked an iPhone 7 with 128GB storage. ALSO READ: Google Pixel vs Apple iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Price, specifications, features compared

But not everyone was unfortunate. One of the first customers at the Navi Mumbai store, Sunny Bajaj, Neel Kothari, Aishwarya Patil, Manoj Jain were successfully able to purchase the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Sunny Bajaj, a businessman by profession, bought an iPhone 7 Plus 128GB in the matte black color variant. “I have always remained an Apple fanboy and was looking forward to buy the iPhone 7 Plus. I am looking forward to use the dual-camera setup and the A10 processor,” he said.

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While most of the iPhone buyers were chilled out about not having the 3.5mm audio jack, Apurva P, who bought an iPhone 7 Plus 256GB matte black color variant said that on one hand where he is looking forward to use the new iPhone, he is also concerned about losing the lightning cable.

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For Aishwarya Patil and Neel Kothari, who bought an iPhone 7 32GB and 128GB models respectively, said that they were looking for a compact phone which could fit right into their pockets. While Neel was okay with not having the standard 3.5mm jack, calling it “Apple’s innovation”, Aishwarya, who was ‘phoneless’ for months to buy the iPhone 7 says she was not really impressed with the new 3D touch button.

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Another customer received a free Ola Cab ride just to pick up the iPhone 7. Hitesh T, who bought the 128GB variant, was given a free pick-up and drop service by Ola just to buy the new device. Last month, Ola Cabs had announced a scheme wherein customers who have pre-booked the new iPhone will get a complimentary ride.

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While there were many customers still waiting to get their hands on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, several customers were seen buying the iPhone 7 model as compared to the iPhone 7 Plus. The 128GB model was the hot favorite among the initial crowd at the Mumbai venue. A similar vibe was witnessed back in the capital where customers purchased more of the base models than opting for the phablet-sized Plus variant.

The Apple iPhone 7 price in India starts at Rs 60,000, and goes all the way up to Rs 92,000.. Online portals like Infibeam and TataCliQ are offering attractive EMI plans and major players like Flipkart and Snapdeal are offering cashbacks on the purchase of the premium phones. Cashing in on the occasion, Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal assumed the role of a delivery boy to personally deliver the premium device at customers’ doorsteps. Bansal wrote in a tweet that 99 percent of Flipkart customers, who pre-registered for the new iPhones were getting it delivered, in two hours of launch. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus India launch: 4 deals to save money

For in-store sales, a day like Friday turned out to be a crowd puller at certain outlets located in prominent malls in the country.  Here’s a glimpse into day one of sales across various regions in India:

Inorbit mall, Maple, Vashi, Navi Mumbai

Inorbit mall, Maple, Vashi, Navi Mumbai

Disgruntled customer walks out of the Future World store- a premium Apple reseller - at DLF Select CityWalk mall in Saket, Delhi.

Disgruntled customer walks out of the Future World store- a premium Apple reseller – at DLF Select CityWalk mall in Saket, Delhi.

At DLF Cybercity, Gurgaon. Image: Rahul Kasana, technology blogger

At DLF Cybercity, Gurgaon. Image: Rahul Kasana, technology blogger

Outside Future World - a premium Apple reseller - at DLF Select CityWalk mall in Saket, Delhi.

Outside Future World – a premium Apple reseller – at DLF Select CityWalk mall in Saket, Delhi.

Outside Unicorn, Goregaon, Mumbai

Outside Unicorn, Goregaon, Mumbai

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  • Published Date: October 8, 2016 9:30 AM IST
  • Updated Date: October 8, 2016 11:04 AM IST