INDIA- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) The Cupertino giant’s latest smartphone, iPhone 6S, will start from a whooping US$1,000 in India.
India is the world’s third biggest smartphone market thanks to its population of 1.2 billion people, and Apple tries to penetrate that market for quite some time now.
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are due to circulate on October 16 and the pricings have already been announced, in order for the customers to pre-register their interest in the smartphones or even pre-order.
Surprisingly enough, the 16GB variant of the iPhone 6S will cost 62,000 rupees ($957), which is more than $300 the price on which one can find the same device in the US. And on top of that, the 128GB version of the iPhone 6S Plus comes at a price of 92,000 rupees ($1,420), which is a $470 premium over the cost of the same model in the U.S.
With that strategy, Apple clearly puts a ceiling on the consumers’ budget range which does not exceed the amount of 60,000 rupees. In fact, Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, told CNET:
“Anything above 60,000 rupees is way out of reach for even an average rich urban consumer. Apple has done well in its last financial year, selling close to 1.7 million units, but still only half of the iPhones sold have been iPhone 6 series, which speaks volumes for the price affordability of most of the iPhone fanbase.”
So given that Apple has showed its interest in the Indian market, why would it make such a reckless move that can cost several million of average buyers? The answer lies on the currency. The American tech giant follows a policy that strengthens the dollar over rupees.
At the same time, Apple’s sales in India rose by 50% last year selling roughly 1.7 million units, but according to data from CounterPoint research, the majority of the devices were not even sixth generation iPhones. In addition, Apple’s smartphones come third in preference right after Windows Phones which also come second following Android smartphones.
With that being said, the company tries to take it up a notch on and is now working with Vodafone to offer zero-down-payment plans to make the phones more affordable.
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus can be found at 3,500 retail stores around the subcontinent along with offer plans by Vodafone and Bharti Airtel, as Apple seeks to work closer with networks while developing its relationship with the local resellers.