Recently, Apple announced that it was going to build a swanky new office in India. Fanboys all over the country had a “Yes!!” moment to celebrate the fact that India had arrived! It was finally getting due importance for being one of the biggest markets in the world for Apple products.
Now, Apple made another announcement that goes to show the utmost belief the company has in the purchasing power of the average Indian. It has discontinued the iPhone 4s and the 5c models in India. The Apple India website has also been accordingly updated.
The change in policy is also applicable to all the official retail partners across India. So if you were thinking of buying either of those two models, then we’re sorry to say, you’re late!
With this change, the iPhone 5s now becomes the entry-level iPhone in India. Priced at around 24,000 INR, the 5s falls in the upper-mid range category of smartphones. The departure of 4s and 5c leaves the 10,000 to 20,000 section wide open for competitors such as Samsung.
Local brands like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn, etc, already have a strong foothold in that price bracket. Why, then, did Apple pull out from this segment is hard to say. Maybe they wanted to establish themselves only as a premium brand? Maybe the 4s was eating away at possible 5s customers? Who knows!
The Economic Times is of the opinion that this was done to increase Apple’s average selling price (ASP), which was taking a serious hit from the widely popular and excessively cheap 4s (just INR 12,000).
To be fair, this fall in ASP cannot be blamed solely on iPhone 4s and 5c. Apple had voluntarily reduced the prices of 5s several times towards the close of last year. The effective halving of 5s prices have led to a tremendous boost in its sale.
Don’t get us wrong, though; we are not complaining at all! In fact, we are very happy with the developments. Apple Stores will be coming up in India, Apple is set to open a new Office, and their products line-up here looks more like the US’s or the UK’s than ever before.
All of these are signs of how serious Apple really is about India. It’s a good thing. And we hope that India also starts getting the same amount of functionality as is offered in other developed economies.