Samsung takes on Apple’s buyback iPhone 4 scheme with Galaxy cashback offer

Rivalry between Samsung and Apple in India is heating up as the South Korean electronics giant has responded to Apple’s buyback offer for the iPhone 4 with its own cashback offer four five devices in its Galaxy range. The devices include the Galaxy Note 800 tablet, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Grand and Galaxy camera. According to the offer, buyers can get up to Rs 5,668 cashback if they buy any of these devices with a Standard Chartered or ICICI credit card.

Many retailers that BGR India spoke to maintained that Apple’s iPhone 4 offer had proven to be very popular with buyers and many were going for the iPhone 4 instead of Samsung’s Galaxy Grand. “We are getting record sales after the (iPhone 4) offer started, it is taking customers away from the Galaxy Grand,” a major retailer in South India told us.

While Samsung remains the numero uno smartphone vendor in India, it is facing stiff competition from Indian vendors like Micromax, Karbonn and Lava in the entry-level smartphone space and Apple in the higher-end. Micromax’s Canvas range of smartphones and phablets have been very popular with successive shipments selling out within hours and the devices selling at a premium in grey markets. Apple’s iPhones remain aspirational with reports of people lapping up even a three-year-old iPhone 4, often called a relic by tech journalists.

Samsung’s cashback offer is valid till April 30 and is limited to credit cards issued by two banks. Under the offer, consumers can get Rs 5,324 cashback on the Galaxy Note 800 (MOP: Rs 35,490, offer price: Rs 30,166); Rs 4,799 on the Galaxy S III (MOP: Rs 31,990, offer price: Rs 27,191); a cashback of Rs 5,668 on the Galaxy Note II (MOP: Rs 37,790, offer price: Rs 32,122); Rs 3,223 on the Galaxy Grand (MOP: Rs 21,490, offer price: Rs 18,267) and a cashback of Rs 3,999 on the Galaxy Camera (MOP: Rs 26,590, offer price Rs 22,591).

We expect Samsung to get even more aggressive with the impending launch of the Galaxy S 4 in India later this month. Apple can also respond by extending its buyback offer, which expires today and also implement it on the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 to heat things up. India, like most other global markets, is turning into a Samsung-Apple battlefield where other brands like Nokia, HTC and Sony pay the price. It will be difficult for the rest of them to compete with the two sparring giants, who not only have disproportionate margins but also enjoy almost all the profits in the smartphone space.

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