Is Apple treating India as an iPhone 4 dumping ground? Let’s find out…

There is something about Apple stories that many publications publish opinion pieces about the company or its products without any fact checking, just to brew a controversy. You see, Apple and Android fanboys just dig these stories and being anti-Apple is the cool tag to have for any hack. So the Economic Times promptly runs an “editorial” without any byline that disses Apple’s recently announced buyback scheme for the iPhone 4. It accuses Apple of using India as a dumping ground for an old product, even as it plans to release a new version of the iPhone later this year.

Here are some of the key points raised in the article:

“For, while the Apple CEO kowtowed in China with a promise of superior service, the company is misreading the Indian market by pushing a three-year-old product — a relic in tech terms, and one that has lost its lure in Europe and US that have upgraded to iPhone 4S, then iPhone 5, and are now waiting for the next generation — possibly, as rumours go, in a variety of colours, different sizes and low cost.”

FACT: I’m not sure how Apple’s after-sales service-related issue in China and selling the iPhone 4 are related. Talking about the European and US markets, the author probably does not know that the iPhone 4 sells there as well and is, in fact, available for free on a two-year contract and is still a very popular smartphone especially among youngsters. It also seems the author conveniently forgets that the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 are also available in India. For the record, Apple sells all three variants of the iPhone – the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 – globally and India is not the only market where Apple is selling the iPhone 4. Apple has been aggressively pushing the iPhone 4 in most markets, when it went free on contract after the iPhone 5 was launched.

“Turning India into a dumping ground for out-of-fashion phones and pushing an old model in a competitive price bracket, when other brands are aggressively positioning their new products, is not the best strategy. It is only reflective of Apple’s disdain, one that flourished under Steve Jobs, for India — a showcase for its end-of-life products rather than a destination for premium gadgets.”

FACT: This makes me wonder if the author has malicious intents (or the piece is a regular linkbait) or whether anyone could really be so misinformed about what’s available out there in the market and still write an opinion piece about it. The author is trying to portray here that Apple does not launch its latest iPhone in India and only launches phones when they are about to reach their end-of-life. Sorry to break this to you, but India now gets the iPhone within weeks of its global announcement and not months, usually before China and many other important markets. Talking about Apple not aggressively positioning its new iPhone, Apple kickstarted the trend of zero percent EMIs with the iPhone 5, which was then followed by Samsung.

It is also amusing to see the same publication post this “editorial” a day after it published a piece on how iPhone 4 sales have trebled in the five days since Apple introduced the buyback scheme over the preceding week. Is there something more to it than meets the eye?

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