Apple iPhone 5s to be sold at Rs 15,000 three years after release: Is it worth it?

According to a report in the Economic Times, Apple will soon drop the price tags of two of its smaller iPhone models in the coming months. The iPhone 5s which currently retails on Amazon India at Rs 18,000 will now see its price drop to Rs 15,000, while the more recent Apple iPhone SE is expected to drop to Rs 20,000, making it an attractive entry level offering.

As always, this is not Apple being generous but a move that will help them get more smartphones into the hands of new customers, who until now could never afford the latest (even recent) iPhone model because of its high asking price. As pointed out by the publication, it is also a move for Apple to jump into the budget smartphone segment, one dominated by brands like Lenovo, Asus and Xiaomi.  The Rs 15,000 iPhone 5s will become online exclusive and will stop selling in stores, while the iPhone SE will become Apple’s entry level offering for offline sales.

Clearly, this would look good when the numbers show up on Apple’s quarterly sales charts. But is it a good move to hand over a three-year old iPhone, which is not even displayed on the Apple website, in the hands of first time iOS users? More importantly, at Rs 15,000 is the outdated iPhone 5s even worth its lowered price tag?


Back in 2014, Apple reintroduced its iPhone 4 with a lowered price tag of Rs 23,000. It ran a light version of iOS but was slow right out of the box. The Cupertino giant saw plenty of criticism for bringing a four-year old iPhone to India after the launch of the iPhone 6. Many still fell for it and even bought the model, and Apple discontinued the model in India in February 2016.

So now we have the Apple iPhone 5s, a smartphone which was great for 2013, but now falls short in many areas. It features an Apple A7 chipset clocked at 1.3GHz (dual core) and comes with an M7 motion coprocessor as well. But there’s just 1GB of RAM and in all probability you will only get 16GB of internal storage to go with that.


Add to this a 1,560mAh battery and you get the picture, it is pretty outdated for 2017. What should also worry you is that iOS has grown RAM intensive since iOS 9. While current owners can install iOS 10.3.1, and it will run smoothly, thanks to the dual core chipset it will not be as fast as the year-old iPhone 6s, which in my opinion is fast enough for 2017. What worries me is that iOS 11 in all probability will grow heavier, (not in size) but in terms of features, and with the basics like 3D Touch already missing, it may start slowing down with iOS 11.

Personally, I switched from my Apple iPhone 6 Plus to an iPhone 6s last year because I found it a bit slow. While most customers may not know how quick an iPhone can be after buying an iPhone 5s, they will never know what the complete iOS experience encompasses either until they buy a more recent model like the iPhone 6s.

Who should buy one?

In case of the iPhone 5s, No. It’s not a good idea for the reasons mentioned above.

Should Apple also decide to bring down the price of the iPhone SE to Rs 20,000, it does sound like a good deal for some. The iPhone SE is a solid smartphone and is frankly speaking a great model to try out if you are a first time iOS buyer and just want to test out the waters. It will offer you the latest games, run the latest operating system flawlessly and even offer you Live Photos, something that you will not get on the iPhone 6.

The above image shows iPhone SE

It is however not for power users coming from Android as that 1,624mAh battery will not last you long despite featuring that tiny 4.0-inch display with a 1136x640 pixel resolution. For those curious about iOS, this is a great device to invest in and dip your toes into the iOS ecosystem.

Alternatives on Android

Well, even at Rs 15,000 there are ton of options from the Android ecosystem.

There’s everyone’s favourite the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, that starts from Rs 9,999 and goes all the way up to Rs 12,999 for 4GB RAM/64GB variant. It also packs in a 4,100mAh battery, along with the tried and tested Snapdragon 625 chipset. You will not need to squint into that 4-inch iPhone display either as the Note 4 offers you a 5.5-inch display Full HD display to work with. Then there’s dual SIM slot and microSD card expansion as well.

Redmi Note 4_01

Other options include the Lenovo P2 with an even larger 5,100mAh battery and the old favourite, with almost stock Android, the Moto G5 Plus at Rs 16,999.

Apple fans will argue that I am comparing apples to oranges, but the smartphone market has grown competitive so my only recommendation for an entry-level iOS device starts with the iPhone SE that starts from Rs 20,985 for the 16GB version and Rs 27,734 for the 64GB version online on Amazon. Expect these price tags to drop further once the offline price tags fall.

Published Date: May 10, 2017 01:11 pm | Updated Date: May 10, 2017 01:11 pm