After getting off to a record-breaking start in the US, Apple s new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are now on sale in India. Unlike the first batch of countries, the response in India has been a mixed bag at best, and while people queued in front of stores at midnight, the lines were visibly shorter than last year. There are several reasons behind this response, but here s why it is too soon to write off Apple s new iPhones. Also Read - New iPhone SE to be the most affordable 5G phone from Apple, to launch in 2022Also Read - iPhone 13 launch date and more details tipped as part of new leaks
Some Apple retailers in cities like Mumbai and Delhi saw people queuing up at midnight. This prompted CEO Tim Cook to tweet Thanks to all our customers in India who queued at midnight for the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus! But the retailers we spoke to say that demand for the new iPhones is not as high as last year. The iPhone 6s 64GB is the preferred choice among buyers, but unlike last year, not many are opting for the bigger iPhone 6s Plus. In other cities like Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai, the response is again said to be lukewarm at best, Times of India reports. Also Read - iPhone 12 Mini reaches end of production already, say rumours
The folks at Business Standard share some numbers, claiming that Apple has so far only managed to sell around 50,000 units. Unlike last year, when Apple didn t manage to keep up with the demand, this year, it had around 165,000 units available expecting record demands. But initial sales trends suggest that only about 30 percent of the units have been sold so far.
Despite being available across various channels, one of the biggest reasons behind this lukewarm response is likely to be the pricing. Apple s new iPhones are among the most expensive in India, when compared to other countries. Prices for the iPhone 6s start from Rs 62,000 and go up to Rs 82,000, while prices for the iPhone 6s Plus start from Rs 72,000 and go up to a whopping Rs 92,000. To put these prices into perspective, last year Apple launched the iPhone 6 at Rs 53,500, and the iPhone 6 Plus at Rs 62,500.
In such a scenario it is not surprising to see people opting to wait for prices to eventually go down. The initial rush is typically of die-hard Apple fans who have come flocking to our stores. Sales are up 30-40 percent over last year. But the second wave will come after a brief lull, possibly after prices fall, Alok Gupta, chief executive of The MobileStore told the publication.
A similar trend is being seen on last year s iPhones as well. As mentioned above, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were launched in India for Rs 53,500 and Rs 62,500 respectively. Surprisingly, Apple did not slash the prices of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus significantly after the new iPhones were announced. According to sources, the official MRP of the iPhone 6 16GB is Rs 52,000 and that of the iPhone 6 Plus 16GB is Rs 62,000. However, both the smartphones are available for much lower in online retail. The iPhone 6 16GB, for instance, was available for as low as Rs 36,999 last week on Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale and is easily available for around Rs 40,000 right now. Consumers are expecting the prices of the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to fall in the coming weeks.
At the moment, one of the dilemmas every potential buyer is facing is if he/she should opt for the less expensive iPhone 6 or the feature-packed iPhone 6s? While from a pricing perspective the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus make more sense, the new iPhones come with quite a few decent upgrades, which make it worth the wait. The 3D Touch display is an impressive improvement, the cameras are said to be better, the handsets are nearly waterproof, but more importantly it now features 2GB RAM. While the last bit currently makes little difference, it will play an important role in future updates in keeping the iPhones running smoothly.
It is too early to write off the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in India. With new distributors and pricing policy in place, it is most likely for Apple to let market forces determine the market operating prices sooner than later.