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

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

  • Anand

    Are you defending Apple?
    Its true that Apple using India as dumping ground.

    How can they advertise as “upgrade to iphone 4″ which is 3 year old phone (released in mid 2010).

    • Rahul

      I find this comment laughable.

      I’m no Apple fanboy, but how does this equate to dumping a product? You’re talking as if they’re selling the iPhone 4 at iPhone 5 prices without introducing the newer models at all. I don’t think you realize that it makes economic sense to sell products at a number of different price points. If you have a problem with this, then maybe you also have a problem with Samsung / HTC / Nokia selling cheaper phones with technology that is a couple years old. There are loads of people with phones that don’t come close to what Apple offers in the iPhone 4. For them, it is an upgrade!

      I have a Nokia Windows Phone, and I can say for a fact that they released the Lumia 900 In India around the same time as the 920 was released in the US. Now THAT is what is called dumping.

    • Vineet

      Hey I won’t mind selling my 2 year old floaters for 50k rs if people are ready to buy it? If you don’t like it dont buy it.

  • avinash

    rajat I think you are an apple fanboy.
    Please wright something worth reading.
    Apple trolls wright these type of news in comment.

    • ADK

      @Avinash Write*

      @Anand Are you high?

    • Raghu Prodduturi

      Please type the comment wright first :P

  • dumbthought

    finally a sensible article which exposes the truth of Economic Times’ article.
    People are have such venom and hatred over something trivial.
    Focus on indian corruption instead. Apple like any other company is just doing business.
    If you dont like what you see, dont buy.

    Seems this simple thing is difficult to grasp for most people.

  • udayasoorian

    I read the article in afternoon when i searched for a topic. I was shocked. Ignorance is bliss for some but to be ignorant for a journalist , is not good or they are just not loyal to their profession. I am a macbook pro user,had iPhone 4s,now iPhone 5.My iPhone 4s was stolen .After that i bought a basic nokia phone ,patiently waited for iPhone 5 arrival,bought it.iPhone is not only a workhorse, it has longevity for more than two years.Service is also very good..My friend who always dislike gadgets bought 10k 3gs iPhone based on my recommendation . He loved it ….Within a year, there was a problem, apple replaced it with a new iPhone 3gs.For Apple we pay premium but it we will recover the cost in long run. I use macbook pro , i cant use oracle (my technical area) in mountain lion but still i love macbook pro..Still no crashes in my macbook which is impossible in the world of windows.My friend who bought that iPhone 3gs , bought a windows laptop, now he want to shift cos he was tired of all problems in os and hardware..

    Writer of that article seems he doesnt know apple practices or didnt use iPhone in his life. Apple controls prices,same quality in all regions for all Apple models except part number kinda stuff….iPhone 4 is still popular in many countries than Android phones..Mainly for only one reason.Apple products are good…Till few years back , this tag was carried by Nokia. I still love nokia 1100,nokia 5800 and c2 model….

    I really dont understand why many criticise Apple when they can do the same thing to their competitors …There are so many issues to criticise on Apple competitors like reducing their phone price drastically within 6 months,pathetic service centres and many more……If Apple does. its dumping ground,un fair to Indian customers but if competitors ,just add or remove some hardware or software stuff , give the same old model a new phone. we will welcome them saying they are doing service to our country..Please realise…Every one do business but Apple or some companies do it with commitment to consumers

  • Agam Bhandari

    The ET guy is right.

    If they are so eager to push the iPhone sales, why don’t they offer such a buyback scheme on the iPhone 4S &
    iPhone 5 as well?

    I have the answer, because they just want to clear the stocks of an obsolete model(which I must admit has a great display)

    • Amit

      @Agam Bhandari: agree with your point. As Samsung has given same offer for each segment of it’s lineup.

  • hrishikesh

    straight business. whoever thinks apple is taking india as dumping ground, can u answer why this new buyback offer has triggered threefold increase in iphone 4 sales..?? who are u to criticise if people are liking this offer and buying the iphone..?? is this a dictatorship..?? if apple can increase their sales be it any product, no one can criticise the policy untill its doing the right business. apple is increasing its foothold here in india and the author of economic times is heavily paid by samsung/other brands.
    if at all, these economic times people should criticise is the current fuel inflation. and let indian population select which offer is best for them.

  • Varun

    Apple just playing a game with India. while other tech giants are focusing more on India, Apple is losing interest in one of the most and the fastest developing countries.

  • Priyank

    Apple is trying to cater to all segments of the market with providing all the available models with different budget range. People can buy whatever they want as per their needs ad budgets. Apple isn’t pointing gun on anyone’s head and forcing them to buy an iphone 4. U like u buy u don’t like it u don’t buy it. As simple as that

  • Rajesh

    Iphone 4 is still a very relevant phone today. IOS 6 can be installed and the Iphone 4 even when compared to other phones today still has great battery life.

  • Deepak Bhakoo

    sorry to say but now seems to be defending Apple in every possible way and in every article. This is a bad thing for the visitors of the site. try to be more creative and open up your views a bit more.

  • Faizal

    From what I have seen people are queuing up to buy the iPhone 4 dumping their old blackberries and lumias.. Still a great phone ..

  • Ratheesh

    Dump move by Apple! They should at least make it as iPhone 4S man.

  • snoopy

    Wow a buyback scheme from Apple. Everyone would love to have one especially for and exchange scheme. So good . But why exchange scheme is available for Iphone 4 only. It should be available for other Iphones also if they are selling here. Is it that the exchange scheme is only for an obsolete iphone. If Apple is sincere for an exchange scheme then it should be available for all iphones and the discount amount should be the same whatever Iphone is bought. This method of selling by Apple isn’t encouraging. Why should be customers be forced to buy Iphone 4 and not 4s or 5. Adding insult to injury the exchange scheme is available for blackberry Z 10 and that too only for iphone 4. Disheartening !