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Apple iPhone X: Weak supply disappoints iPhone lovers in India

Were you able to buy Apple iPhone X on the first day of the sale?

tech Updated: Nov 04, 2017 11:19 IST
Will supply constraints impact Apple’s iPhone X sales in India?
Will supply constraints impact Apple’s iPhone X sales in India?(REUTERS)

As Apple’s much-awaited iPhone X went on sale in India on Friday, only a few were able to get their hands on the anniversary special iPhone on the day 1. Though long lines were seen across Apple stores in metro cities, only those who had pre-booked it in the first slot received their units as retailers and online players were handed over a thin supply.

At the iWorld Store in north Delhi’s Kamla Nagar, only three people were handed over the iPhone X in the first hour after the doors of the showroom opened at 6 p.m.

Raj became the first person to buy iPhone X at the store.

“I have bought a 256GB variant for 1.02 lakh. I had pre-booked it as soon as the booking was open. I was using iPhone 7 Plus earlier. Since iPhone X was announced, I skipped iPhone 8 and instead opt for it,” Raj told IANS.

Another iPhone user said: “I’ve bought the 256GB variant. I also have iPhone 8 Plus but I was eagerly waiting for iPhone X. I am an ardent Apple lover.”

The iWorld store manager, who refused to give numbers, told IANS that the devices were only being given to those who had pre-booked it. In the meantime, several Apple fans came and went empty-handed. “I did not pre-book it and thought would buy it from the store itself on the spot just like any other Apple device,” said Akansha.

IANS spoke to some authorised resellers and corporate partners who were left disappointed at the limited stock being handed over to them.

“Don’t expect any beeline for iPhone X in India as the company has handed over very limited stocks -- some received even a mere 15-20 units -- to online as well as offline authorised resellers. We, however, are yet to receive a unit,” an Apple Authorised Corporate Partner told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Another Apple Authorised Reseller refused to divulge the number of units he received for the delivery on Friday.

“iPhone X on Airtel Online Store was sold out within minutes of opening of sale. Airtel will notify customers once fresh stocks arrive,” an Airtel spokesperson said in a statement.

An Amazon spokesperson had earlier told IANS that within few minutes of the pre-orders on October 27, iPhone X went out of stock.

According to industry analysts, the waiting period is going to be at least five-seven weeks for those who didn’t book the device in the first slot.

“Demand for iPhone X looks very strong in India. However, right from the day one, it was obvious that users eager to buy iPhone X are in for a long waiting queue,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

“The demand vs supply mismatch is likely to create more pull towards this premium flagship. We estimate that the demand will be pushed to subsequent quarters extending normal cyclic season for Apple,” he said.

There is a scenario where an Android premium user who wishes to shift to iPhone X decides instead to upgrade within the Android ecosystem owing to the unavailability of iPhone X.

People stand in line outside the Apple Union Square store to purchase the new iPhone X Friday, November 3, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP)

“In that case, it will be an opportunity lost for Apple,” Pathak said. According to Faisal Kawoosa, Principal Analyst, Telecom and ESDM, CyberMedia Research (CMR), the situation for Apple will take time to settle down.

“Although there are initial supply issues, the situation for Apple will gradually come to normal as they strengthen the supply chain. They need to do it fast,” he added.

This time round, supply chain solution provider Redington India and HCL Infosystems that sell newly-launched iPhones on their partner stores were yet to send any information on the availability of iPhone X.

This is the first time Apple tuned its iPhone X launch globally, with India on its map right on Day 1. In the previous years, the iPhone units always arrived in India in later weeks.

Anshul Gupta, Research Director, Gartner India, told IANS that although some buyers delayed their purchase decision in the hope of trying out the iPhone X, now with its availability, sales of iPhone will go up further.

“Despite the high price of iPhone X, it will remain a growth driver for iPhone sales and delayed launch means some of fourth quarter of 2017 demand will shift to 2018. Immediate availability of iPhone in line with other global markets shows the growth opportunity and overall importance of the Indian market,” Gupta said.