Are Indians turning their backs on the new iPhones?
The hefty price tag
The company unveiled iPhone Xs, Xs Max and iPhone XR at the event held at Steve Jobs Theater in its Apple Park Campus in Cupertino.
The iPhone XR, touted as the ‘affordable flagship,’ starts at Rs 76,900 and will be available from October 26, about two weeks before Diwali.
Apple iPhone XS comes in three storage variants -- 64GB, 256GB and 512GB; priced at Rs 99,900, Rs 1,14,900 and Rs 1,34,900 respectively.
The big-screen iPhone Xs Max price starts a price of Rs 1,09,900 (64GB). The other two variants offering 256GB and 512GB storage are priced at Rs 1,24,900 and Rs 1,44,900 respectively.
Why you may need to shell out more
The company’s distributors in India have informed retailers that Apple will for the first time offer ‘affordability schemes’ such as cashbacks and easy EMIs on certain credit cards right from the launch date, unlike earlier, when they were introduced after a few weeks, the executives said.
Despite the aspirational factor, the lakh-plus pricing has made the new iPhones unaffordable for a lot of consumers. The starting price this time has gone up by almost 13% for the flagships, while for the affordable flagship it’s up by 20%.
Why Samsung is cheaper
Apple's other competition in the premium phone category is OnePlus. OnePlus 6, the latest from the company is on sale for as less as Rs 34,999 and can go up to Rs 43,999 depending on the model and storage variation. This is still a drastic drop from Apple's cheapest phone which comes with a Rs 76,900 price tag.
The fear is real
Analysts project the tech giant’s annual iPhone shipments in India may decline for the first time. Apple may dispatch about 2.4 million iPhones to India in 2018 compared with 3.2 million units in 2017, according to Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
The executives said Apple has indicated that the iPhone XS and XS Max will be launched only in six or seven large cities in India initially and supplies will be limited to create a buzz.
Old versions get cheaper
The iPhone 6S (32 GB) will now be available at Rs 29,900 after a Rs 13,000 drop from Rs 42,900. Prices for the iPhone 7 variations will also drop, with the 32GB variant caarying a Rs 39,900 price tag instead of the previous Rs 52,370.
Phone enthusiasts will now have to shell out Rs 106,900 for the iPhone X (256 GB) instead of Rs 108,930.