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 (pictured), respectively, unveiled a year ago.
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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.
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. 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 - supplying the phones to regional distributors, multi-product trade channels and resellers - will ensure the two phones reach 150 cities this year, a six-fold jump 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. 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.
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.