The Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have launched in India today at 6:00PM, and buyers who have pre-ordered their phones have already gotten their hands on the new iPhones. While Flipkart promised this morning to deliver 90 percent of the pre-orders by 6:00PM today, official Apple retailers also opened the doors to its stores when the clock struck six.
We visited Apple stores in DLF Mall of India in Noida, Connaught Place, New Delhi, and Lower Parel, Mumbai. We got a glimpse of the reaction to the launch, before and after the gates opened. While the queues weren’t as long as we would expect when we think of an Apple Store in the US, what remained common in all the stores was the enthusiasm.
Where some people like Nitin Singh were getting the iPhone 8, because he likes to “upgrade every year”, there were also people like Aakash Vij, who believe that iPhone 8’s “improved processor” is something to invest in.
Also, online and offline stores have been offering a bunch of offers on purchase of the new iPhones, which include cashback offers, buyback offers and some special discounts. However, when we spoke to Santosh at the Futureworld outlet in CP, he said there were too many terms and conditions online, which “confused” him, so he just “opted for the Citibank credit card”. We also asked Santosh, who purchased the iPhone 8, if he thought of purchasing the Galaxy S8, which competes with the new iPhones. But he said he was cynical after the “Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco”.
Another customer Madhav, who purchased the iPhone 8 , said he wasn’t really aware of the online offers. “I only availed the Citi cashback offer”. When we asked him what was that one feature he was most excited about, he said, ” wireless charging.” Surely this is one of the most looked forward to feature of the new iPhones.
Simultaneously, In Mumbai, we were at the Aptronix store in Phoenix Mall, Lower Parel, the first customer to buy the new iPhone was Amar Jain, who was also visually impaired. He said that he has been an Apple fanboy since he started using the iPhone 4 as his first iPhone. Currently using the iPhone 6S Plus, he planned to upgrade to iPhone 8 Plus. On being asked why he prefers using Apple phones and not an Android device instead, he said Apple devices are more accessible.
Just for laughs, we also asked the people standing in the queue outside, what they would do if we gave them Rs 100,000, would they buy an iPhone X when it launches, or go on a holiday. Interestingly, 7 out of 10 people we asked said they would go for a holiday, while three of them were ready to invest it in an iPhone X. Meanwhile, in Mumbai, one perplexed customer named Mehul was wandering around the store thinking whether he should buy the iPhone 8 Plus or wait for the upcoming iPhone X. He currently owns the iPhone 6.
Interestingly, in Mumbai, the store manager at the Aptronix store confirmed that they received a total of 25 registrations. She also mentioned how Apple kept its supply short, and they had not more than 50-55 iPhone 8 units with them. Well, having said that, we might soon hear news of new iPhones shortage in Indian stores. To put things into perspective, the Apple iPhone 8 is priced at Rs 64,000 and Rs 77,000 for the 64GB and 256GB variants respectively. The iPhone 8 Plus, on the other hand, is priced at Rs 73,000 and Rs 86,000 for the 64GB and 256GB variants respectively.