With iPhone 7, Apple eyes long festival season in India: Experts
New Delhi: With the announcement of October 7 as the date for the Indian Apple lovers to grab a new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, the Cupertino-based tech giant has not only improved upon the product availability date for the country but is also firmly eyeing the long festive season ahead.
Last year when Apple launched iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in India on October 16, it was touted as the fastest iPhone rollout with the devices being made available in less than a month after going on sale in the US. This year, Apple has further shortened the gap.
According to industry analysts, Since Navratri — an auspicious time for shopping — begins on October 1 and with Diwali falling on October 30, this is a strategic time for Apple to register super iPhone 7 sales.
“Apple will have three-four weeks of solid festive momentum. Last year, Apple launched iPhone models on October 16. This year, the company will have more time-frame to register better sales figures,” Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems at New Delhi-based Counterpoint Research, told IANS.
According to Pathak, like other countries where Apple has gone into strategic partnerships (recent ones being SAP and Cisco), it should look for similar partnerships in India too.
“I feel Apple must consider Reliance Jio — currently the game changer in the Indian telecom space with its disrupting pricing and data plans — for a long, beneficial partnership in a country where the number of smartphones users are set for an exponential growth in years to come,” Pathak told IANS.
Available in silver, gold, rose gold and the new black finish (jet black), iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models, starting at Rs 60,000.
The new jet black finish will be offered exclusively on the 128GB and 256GB models from Apple authorised resellers and select carriers, the Cupertino-based tech giant announced.
Pre-orders for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus begins from September 9 and the shipping will start from September 16 first in 25 countries and other countries a week later.
“Since iPhone sales are on the rise in India, Apple must plan for a simultaneous global launch for the country too,” Pathak added.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently announced to soon open retail stores in the country — a move that brings to the fore the global importance of the burgeoning Indian smartphone market. The sales of the Apple devices in India rose 51 per cent in the last three quarters compared with a year earlier, Cook said on Tuesday.
“India is now one of our fastest growing markets. In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, our iPhone sales in India were up 51 percent year on year. We’re looking forward to opening retail stores in India down the road and we see huge potential for that vibrant country,” Cook added.
“The way things are going for Apple in India, they will have to consider India for a simultaneous global launch. At the moment, the Indian festival season is on Apple’s mind, hence the decision to make iPhone 7 and 7 Plus available for the consumers a bit early,” noted Vishal Tripathi, research director at global market consultancy firm Gartner.
According to Tripathi, the cost of iPhone 7 and other variants may also come down in India with attractive festival offers like discounts and EMI options.