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Made-in-India Apple's iPhone 15 likely to see blockbuster sales: Retailers

Latest model can log 40-50% higher sales in India than iPhone 14, say retailers

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Apple Saket Store ahead of iPhone 15 series first sale

Surajeet Das Gupta New Delhi

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Apple’s iPhone 15, launched in India and many other countries on Friday, is poised to be “a blockbuster”, key large authorised retailers of Apple Inc have forecast based on initial trends and bookings.

Sales of the iPhone 15 in India will likely be 40 to 50 per cent higher than those of the iPhone 14, which had received a subdued response last year, they said. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are being assembled in India at Foxconn’s Chennai plant and the made-in-India phones are being made available from day one of their launch – a first for the country.

Most retailers said the iPhone 15 could witness huge sales, especially given the ample inventory built up for the made-in-India phones. They, however, pointed out that stocks of the premium iPhone Pro and Max models, especially those with a titanium finish, which are imported and had been pre-booked, were now sold out. Fresh stocks are expected in a few weeks.

Apple is projected to account for 7 per cent of all smartphone sales in the country from July to December, up from 5 per cent in the first half of 2023, according to data from market researcher Counterpoint shared exclusively with Reuters.

The Cupertino-based company has channelled its focus towards its own network of over 3,000 retailers, two company-owned stores, and its own online store, which have received the bulk of the inventory. Sources familiar with Apple’s strategy said this approach contrasted with many competing mobile companies, which rely heavily on large inventories and discounts through major e-commerce platforms for the bulk of their sales.

Retailers noted that Apple had rendered the phones more affordable through its trade-in strategy. The most commonly exchanged phones are the iPhone 10 and 11, neither of which is 5G-enabled. The average exchange offer is around Rs 20,000, with additional exchange bonuses and instant cash offers.

A senior executive from a leading authorised retail chain for Apple commented, “When you combine all these offers, the iPhone 15, originally priced at Rs 79,900, comes down to Rs 48,900. Even the iPhone 15 Plus, priced at Rs 89,900, becomes available for Rs 58,400. This has been a significant attraction.”

Furthermore, there are appealing equated monthly instalment offers available from banks and finance companies, with no down payment required, featuring a monthly payout of Rs 3,329 for the iPhone 15.

Most retailers expect that, based on historical trends, the launch of the iPhone15 will boost the sales of the iPhone13 -- the current entry-level and most affordable Apple phone. The iPhone 13 tends to attract first-time buyers of Apple products, who later trade up.

Based on historical global trends, analysts say every alternate iPhone model becomes a blockbuster. For instance, while the iPhone13 was a hit, the iPhone 14 had muted sales, both globally and in India. Now, the iPhone15 could set records, they suggest.

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First Published: Sep 22 2023 | 10:41 PM IST

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