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Rediff.com  » Business » Apple eyes bigger Indian pie with iPhone 6s, 6s Plus

Apple eyes bigger Indian pie with iPhone 6s, 6s Plus

Last updated on: October 13, 2015 13:36 IST

Apple iPhone 6 s

Image: A man holds an iPhone 6s Plus as the Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus go on sale at an Apple Store in Los Angeles, California September 25, 2015. Photograph: Jonathan Alcorn

The US major, which is looking to set up a manufacturing base in India, is looking to surpass the 55,000 sales number it had achieved last year

It is easily one of the most anticipated mobile phone launches in the tech world and the Cupertino-based Apple Inc, which counts India as one of its key markets, has left no stone unturned to ensure good sales of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, following the launch on October 16.

The two products are upgrades of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, respectively, unveiled a year ago.

According to sources, the US major, which is looking to set up a manufacturing base in India, is looking to surpass the 55,000 sales number it had achieved last year during the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

 iPhone 6S Plus

Image: An iPhone 6s Plus is seen at the Apple retail store in Palo Alto, California September 25, 2015. Photograph: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Last year, the figure of 55,000 was achieved within 72 hours of the launch of the two phones. This year, the smartphone maker has raised the bar, unveiling a robust online and offline distribution strategy.

It has tied up with five distributors, against three last year -- Redington, Ingram Micro and Rashi Peripherals.

The new ones are Brightstar and Optiemus Group.

A customer is helped by an Apple employee

Image: A customer is assisted with a newly purchased iPhone 6s at the Apple Retail in Palo Alto, California September 25, 2015. Photographer: Robert Galbraith

Market sources say cumulatively, these trade partners could reach 10,000 retail outlets across the country.

The figure is nearly double last year’s number.

An official with one of the five distributors said a three-tier distribution strategy -- over last year.

Apple could not be reached for comment.

Its distributors in the country have also been gagged from speaking officially to the media.

In anticipation of a bumper sale, the stock price of Redington, which is listed on the BSE, has surged five per cent in the past few days. It closed at Rs 120.25 on the BSE on Monday.

iPhone 6S Plus 

Image: A customer shows a newly purchased iPhone 6s Plus at the Apple Retail in Palo Alto, California September 25, 2015. Photographer: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Redington is counted as Apple’s key distributor, responsible for bulk of its sales in India.

The US major has tied up with several websites, including Gadgets 360, Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart, Infibeam and Paytm, as well as telecom operator Vodafone, which have begun pre-bookings.

Brick-and-mortar chains such as the Essar-group-promoted The Mobile Store and Spice HotSpot, promoted by S Mobility, formerly Spice Mobility, have also begun pre-bookings.

City-specific dealers, too, have launched pre-bookings to cash in on the demand. The base price of iPhone 6s is 16 per cent higher than that of iPhone 6, pegged at Rs 62,000.

It is Rs 92,000 for iPhone 6s Plus.

Dilip Modi, chairman of S Mobility, says, “Given the way Apple has upped the ante this year, it has increased its sales projections from the launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

"They clearly appear bullish, which excites us as well as their trade partner.”

While marketplaces such as Snapdeal, Flipkart and Amazon did not respond to queries on the pre-booking orders they received, trade sources pegged the same on par with last year’s numbers.

Apple logo

Image: Apple logo. Photograph: Reuters

While Flipkart is advertising its equated monthly scheme on its platform beginning from Rs 3,007 for the base model of iPhone 6s (16 GB), Snapdeal says without full payment by October 15, customers who have pre-booked the phone won’t get delivery on October 16.

Typically, consumers keen on buying any model have to make a down payment (in Snapdeal’s case it is Rs 2,000), following which a link is generated that allows them to follow the payment schedule.

COUNTDOWN TO LAUNCH

  • iPhone 6S & 6S Plus are the most anticipated smartphone launches this year
  • iPhone 6S & 6S Plus will be available in 150 cities a six-fold jump over last year
  • Online & offline pre-bookings have begun since last week with multiple payment options available
  • Price of base model has increased by 16% to Rs 62,000, compared to iPhone 6
Arnab Dutta in New Delhi
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