Apple had earlier announced that the new iPhones – iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c – will be available in India starting November 1. This is probably the first time Apple has made an official announcement on the launch date of the iPhone in India well over a month in advance. Last couple of years we’d just know about it from speculations and then around a couple of days before the local launch event.
There has been quite a lot of chatter around the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c pricing (more about the former than the latter) in India. So from what I can make out there are two schools of thought here: the first one claims Apple has increased prices way too high for anyone to buy iPhone 5s and that no one would buy it while the second believes that the pricing of the iPhone 5s and 5c is justified and that it’s the usual Apple business thing.
I’m somewhat bent on the second school of thought.
When the first iPhone was launched in India, it set a benchmark of its own. Not only was it a revolutionary device in the market (whoa!), it was also the most expensive one in the market. Back then Samsung and the likes were only in their conference halls, sketching mockups of smartphones that resembled the iPhone. The initial thought was that the iPhone is the BMW/Mercedes of the mobile phone industry. A point that I still think is pretty much applicable.
A phone priced above Rs. 40,000 was sure to raise many eyebrows. But did the customers feel cheated once they bought one? Did they love their iPhone? No to the first and a big yes to the second.
Anyone buying an iPhone understands that they are investing into the user experience. That user experience is built to work right out of the box. On most top of the line Android devices you buy today, you really need to tweak a lot, customize the device according to your requirements to a larger scale than the iPhone to make things work for you. That unless you’re comfortable with ass-backwards TouchWiz interface and its cousins.
Coming back to the real point – the iPhone 5s prices are just right. Apple is not taking a bigger cut here. The thing is simple: Dollar/Rupee fluctuations have finally settled to a lot of extent and the conversion doesn’t work in the customer’s favor. Not this time at least. The last time when iPhone 5 came out the Rupee was like 55 to a dollar and now it’s around 62. That’s quite a jump.
That is probably the only key factor for the rise in the new iPhone prices this year. Will things be harder for Apple? You bet. Convincing the mindset is one thing in a country full of retards (sorry if that hurt). On top of that the Reserve Bank of India is putting a ban on zero EMI schemes, that were so popular especially for high-priced smartphones, this year around. Expect a workaround from finance companies but the deals just won’t look delicious this time.
Image credits: Moridin/Flickr