A smaller iPhone, a new iPad: Will Apple finally focus on India?
While China is the biggest buyer of smartphones, India is the fastest growing one. So, by the time China’s markets saturate, India will only be getting started and Apple knows that.tech Updated: Mar 21, 2016 17:29 IST
A new four-inch iPhone? Let’s face it. Apple leaks have got so accurate over the years, with people tracking everything from prices to supplies at manufacturing centres, that the US company is more than likely to launch a such a product. And with all the excitement building up, it would be a bummer if they didn’t.
Till the iPhone 5s, the company was ridiculed by Android supporters for making phones with such tiny screens. And then, two years later, they sell one of the best phablets on the market -- iPhone 6s Plus. Still, a lot of people decided to stick by their smaller iPhones because that’s what they were comfortable with. Not everyone wants a big screen. This writer has been ridiculed with statements such as “where’s the remote for this Android phone? It’s big enough to be a television”.
Focus on India after China saturates
As the prices of the iPhone 5s fall, there is a spot in the price ranges vacant. The new iPhone is expected to fill that gap between the iPhone 6 and 5s of Rs 20,000-35,000. And taking into consideration that India is a nice market for that category, Apple seems to be making conscious decision to strengthen its ties with India. While China is the biggest buyer of smartphones, India is the fastest growing one. So, by the time China’s markets saturate, India will only be getting started.
Apple stores in India
This is also the reason for Apple turning to the Indian government for permissions to set up shop in the country. The company has plans to open stores in NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, among others. And if that is the case, India is likely to be added to the list of countries that get the first wave of iPhone, iPads, Macbooks or any other “revolutionary” product on launch.
But the Indian buyers, unlike those in the US and China, might lean more towards the value for money aspect while buying phones. And in that case, Apple’s older phones like the 5s receiving a price cut on the eve of a new 4-inch iPhone’s launch shouldn’t be a surprise. Besides, Apple wants to start selling refurbished devices in India since the company has approached the government for permissions to import used/pre-owned devices, according to reports.
The bottom line: there is a charm to the four-inch iPhones like there is a charm to boxer shorts. They’re cheap, comfortable and practical. Will it do well enough in India to keep Apple’s interest in the country kindled? Only time will tell.
First Published: Mar 21, 2016 17:10 IST