Ap­ple’s fad­ing In­dia dream

Ul­tra-premium iPhones alone will not work

Business Standard - - OPINION -

Is Ap­ple giv­ing up on In­dia, al­low­ing a free run to Chi­nese hand­set com­pa­nies? It cer­tainly looks that way at first sight. This week, in his tra­di­tional key­note speech, Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook launched the new­est ver­sions of the com­pany’s flag­ship prod­uct, the iPhone. The high­light was the iPhone X, with var­i­ous top-of-the-line fea­tures such as fa­cial recog­ni­tion and a bezel-less screen. It is priced at $1,000 in the US mar­ket. This means that, in In­dia, it might cost close to, or even over, ~1 lakh. Along­side the iPhone X, two other iPhones were an­nounced, which will be reg­u­lar up­grades of the cur­rent flag­ships, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. In the US they will be more ex­pen­sive than their pre­de­ces­sors, sug­gest­ing that they may re­tail at only ~25,000 or ~30,000 less than the iPhone X in In­dia, mak­ing them again the most ex­pen­sive phones in the In­dian mar­ket.

Mean­while, Chi­nese phone com­pa­nies are pric­ing phones with equiv­a­lent fea­tures at a frac­tion of the price. Some of th­ese phones even come in boxes with “Make in In­dia” writ­ten on the top, along with the cam­paign’s trade­mark lion. Ap­ple has a neg­li­gi­ble share in the

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