Apple Chasing Market Share in India by Letting Retailers Reduce Prices on Older Model iPhones

by

As Apple gears up to sell iPhones directly through its website in India later in 2017, the company's successful sale of older generation iPhones in the country has come to light in a new article by Bloomberg. Within India, Apple has let third-party resellers and shops -- including Amazon and Flipkart -- reduce prices for "retro model" iPhones, because Indian users are said to be willing to concede in performance and specs for a cheaper Apple-branded smartphone.

One of the older iPhones in question is the iPhone 5s, launched in 2013 and replaced by the iPhone SE three years later in 2016. One user in the country described purchasing an iPhone 5s for 20,400 rupees (about $300) at local reseller iPlanet, and Amazon even listed the 5s as low as 15,999 rupees during a sale in May. Right now in the U.S., the cheapest iPhone you can buy is a SIM-free iPhone SE for $399.


Last summer, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that iPhones are too expensive in India, saying he wants Indian customers "to be able to buy at a price that looks like the U.S. price." Now, it appears that potential iPhone users in India are being able to do that at even cheaper prices.

Now it’s letting stores and online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. and Flipkart Ltd. slash prices for retro models, a rare concession for a brand that carefully guards its high-end image

“It doesn’t bother me that it is several generations old,” says Varuni T.V., a business professor in India who teaches at a college in Hospet, a mining town six hours north of Bangalore. “It’s a good feeling to own an Apple phone.”

Apple shipped 2.6 million devices to India in 2016, and older iPhones accounted for about 55 percent of those devices. In addition to the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 are said to be popular options at Indian retailers and online stores. The company is believed to be doubling down on this retro iPhone sales idea, hearing retailer pitches about cash-back offers, product exchanges, and monthly payment plans on iPhones, "all aimed at making it easier for young Indians to spend a month’s earnings or more on a 5S."

Additionally, Apple will hire "affordability managers" in India, who will negotiate with banks and other money lenders on behalf of potential iPhone buyers, focusing on customers in smaller towns with less of a track record in buying expensive smartphones. Apple's competition in the country is still steep, with Xiaomi and Oppo remaining the dominant forces in the Indian smartphone market.

Analysts remain hopeful for Apple's presence in India, thanks to the onset of iPhone SE production in the country in its Bangalore plant. Next, it's believed that Apple will attempt to begin individual component manufacturing for iPhone devices in India in order to continue establishing its foothold in the country.

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
44 months ago

I rly doubt that even 1% of the population in India can enter an Apple Store and drop 700$ for a new iPhone. Imagine how much iMac Pros for 4999$ would be sold in India. I guess a few hundred at most. There is extreme poverty in there.

It is like trying to sell brand new Mercedes in Somalia.

Yeah I guess you have a better understanding of India than Tim Cook or rather than the German luxury car makers for whom India is the fastest growing market or rather for Amazon whose primary focus is India. What do a billion people living in mud huts and charming snakes know ? Ask Sundar Pichai who studied in India and went on to be Google CEO.

Sometimes it's better to come out your pigeon hole and see the changing world so that your kids don't end up with same myopic world view.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago

I rly doubt that even 1% of the population in India can enter an Apple Store and drop 700$ for a new iPhone. Imagine how much iMac Pros for 4999$ would be sold in India. I guess a few hundred at most. There is extreme poverty in there.

It is like trying to sell brand new Mercedes in Somalia.

As long as you realize that 1% equates to over 10 million people, I guess you have a point. Not really, but... no, not really at all. The percentage is likely higher meaning the corresponding number of people is also likely higher. There's extreme poverty everywhere, just like there is extreme prosperity.

No you missed it. Now it's letting stores and online retailers…………….. suggests that they are controlling the price does it not?

Gotcha. That last sentence threw me. It reads as if Apple is starting to price fix. Apologies for the misunderstanding.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago

I rly doubt that even 1% of the population in India can enter an Apple Store and drop 700$ for a new iPhone. Imagine how much iMac Pros for 4999$ would be sold in India. I guess a few hundred at most. There is extreme poverty in there.

It is like trying to sell brand new Mercedes in Somalia.

Not letting facts get in the way are we..??
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago

I rly doubt that even 1% of the population in India can enter an Apple Store and drop 700$ for a new iPhone. Imagine how much iMac Pros for 4999$ would be sold in India. I guess a few hundred at most. There is extreme poverty in there.

It is like trying to sell brand new Mercedes in Somalia.

People were saying this with China and look at the market in China now. Even 1% in countries like China or India is like 10 million people and that percentage will grow quickly in coming years. Even minor price drops could make the iPhone economically viable for millions of people. Besides, while India is indeed quite poor, I think you are vastly underestimating India's wealth. There are around 250,000 people who are of millionaire (USD) status in India.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago
Yeah, it's terrible that Apple is dumping it's old stuff in the country. But the prices are sometimes too good to beat.

I picked up a 6S for about USD 540 including taxes. Coworker picked up an SE for about 310 USD. Wouldn't have dreamt that we would see lower than US prices in India for Apple products - not sure how they're doing it. Have people pay what they can I suppose.

And these are brand new in the box - purchased from Amazon(.in). Not refurbished. Afaik, Apple is still producing the 5S and 6 for markets like these. The poor blokes buying the 5S (USD 250) or the 6 (USD 340) are going to be super frustrated in a year or two. Back to Android I suppose.

And I'd rather not have any more Mercs / BMWs / Audi / Range Rovers coming over here - no more roads for them to fill up!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago

What I find weird, is how Apple can dictate the selling of their product in re-sale environments.

iPhone 5s are no longer made, so all the inventory these resellers have are all from trade-ins or non-Apple refurbishments.

It's like Ford or Chevy telling an independent used car dealer that they're not charging enough for used cars... pretty bizarre.

It's your assumption that the inventory sold is re-furbished or trade-ins. These are all new iPhones being sold.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...