The advance bookings for Apple's new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus remain subdued in the offline channel. E-commerce firms Flipkart and Amazon did not share their advance-booking numbers. Till Thursday, online retailer Snapdeal had 25,000 advance bookings.
"Advance bookings for the iPhone 6S have been in line with what we have observed for devices priced over Rs 50,000," Avijit Mitra, chief executive, Infiniti Retail Ltd, said. He says this time advance bookings have been mainly driven by online sales. Infiniti Retail owns the electronics retail chain Croma. Experts say e-commerce's discounts helped advance bookings. Snapdeal, apart from offering free mobile data and wearable devices, is providing a cash-back option for card payments. Flipkart and Amazon are providing similar offers.
Advance bookings for the two new iPhones have been lukewarm in bricks-and-mortar outlets across the country, except for some dealers. Most city-based small retail chains and individual retailers have received advance bookings comparable to that of last year. One of the five distributors of iPhones in India has received 150 per cent more advance bookings than last year. "We have received 2.5 times the advance bookings we got last year during iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch," an executive from the distributor said. He did not wish to be quoted. Redington, Ingram Micro, Rashi Periferals, Brightstar, and Optiemus Group distributes Apple products in the country.
"The turnout has not been as good as last year's. Even the inquiries have been very few. The demand is not as high as last year's, because the design and the feel factor are all the same," Gajendra Kumar, manager, Sangeetha Mobiles, Bengaluru said.
Ankur, manager at a chain of four stores, who sale iPhones in Delhi-NCR region observes the prebooking to be at par with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Many of the consumers willing to buy iPhone are waiting for the prices of previous models such as iPhone 6, 6 Plus and 5S to come down after the new models are launched. The higher price of the new models compared to its previous variants is also keeping buyers away from booking the phones currently. iPhone 6S 16GB costs Rs 62,000, versus Rs 53,500 for iPhone 6 16GB last October.
Inputs from Alnoor Peermohamed in Bengaluru