Apple’s new iPhone set for March 18 launch. But when will it hit India?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Feb 13, 2016 09:09 IST
Apple’s new iPhone, the 4-inch 5se, and the new iPad Air 3 will go on sale on March 18

Apple’s new iPhone, the 4-inch 5se, will go on sale on March 18 but what will be interesting to see is if the phone comes to India sooner than any other iPhone as chief executive Tim Cook looks to India for growth amid slowing smartphones sales.

According to a report in 9To5Mac , the new iPad -- iPad Air 3, will also go on sale on the same day. Apple’s iPad sales have been slowing down but the company expects the new launch to bring back some revenues. This also means that both the devices will go on sale only after days of the launch.

The report also clarified that Apple might not be offering ‘pre-order’ options for both devices. Although, we now have a confirmation on the launch date, there has been no clarity on pricing. Several analysts expect it to be priced around $500.

Read more:India a rare bright spot for Apple as sales rise 76%

The launch could be historic for India as well if the country figures in the first list of countries that the devices will be available in. Earlier, during a town hall meeting, Cook had applauded India’s economic reforms and had praised the business environment in the country.

“So it’s a very rapidly expanding country. And I think the government in India is very interested in economic reforms and so forth that I think all speak to a really good business environment for the future,” Cook said on an investor call. Recently, Apple has sent an application to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for approval for setting up retail outlets in India.

Cook said the company is “putting increasingly more energy in India” and will continue to invest here for the long-term. “India’s growth, as you know, is very good. It’s quickly becoming the fastest growing BRIC country. It’s the third largest smartphone market in the world, behind China and the US,” he added.

Also, Apple has taken drastic steps in the country like cutting prices of latest and older iPhones which is against the company policy and was never done before. The chief executive has also maintained that the company din’t need to cut prices in markets like India and China in light of the slowing sales of smartphones. The company is also closing down the gap between launch and device availability in the country.

An earlier report by 9To5 Mac suggests that the device, codenamed N69 internally, is expected to be designed on the iPhone 5S, which was released in 2013

However, earlier reports had also suggested March 15 as the launch date for the new iPhone that reportedly get the latest M9 and A9 processors bundled with 1GB of RAM along with support for Apple Pay and Live Photos.

An earlier report by 9To5 Mac suggests that the device, codenamed N69 internally, is expected to be designed on the iPhone 5S, which was released in 2013, and not the iPhone 7 design which is rumoured to come without a headphone jack.

The report adds that the phone will come with the curved glass display as on the iPhone 6. It will have an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.2 megapixel front camera which will support larger panoramas and autofocus for video recording. It will also have a barometer to track elevation in the health app.

Read more: Apple in ‘early talks’ to set up facility in Hyderabad

Unfortunately, there will be no force touch or 3D touch on the phone. According to the report, the current 5s model will likely be discontinued, per sources, and the “5se” will take its price point. The new device, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, is currently in production overseas and is primarily targeted at emerging markets like China and India where iPhones are ridiculously overpriced.

On the other hand, the next gen iPad Air 3 is also expected to be unveiled at the event which will reportedly be a significant overhaul in terms of specs. For instance, it is expected to feature a 9.7-inch 4K display and the A9X chipset bundled with 4GB of RAM.

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