iPhone 6s sales in India: Here's why iPhone 6s didn't recreate the iPhone 6 magic

Apple's latest iPhone 6s models were launched amid grand fanfare in India at the stroke of midnight on 16 October. But even before the devices went on sale, pre-booking figures gave a glimpse into a rather sluggish demand than expected.

Apple's latest iPhone 6s models were launched amid grand fanfare in India at the stroke of midnight on 16 October. But even before the devices went on sale, pre-booking figures gave a glimpse into a rather sluggish demand than expected.

New reports coming in further reveal a meagre figure of 50,000 units sold compared to last year's quick weekend sale of the entire batch of 55,000 units that were shipped to India. This time, Apple shipped three times the number, and has missed the target it set for India.

Apple did manage to break some records overseas with 13 million units sold in the first weekend over 12 markets, compared to the 10 million units sold over the availability weekend last year across 10 countries. However, there is scepticism over the new iPhones bringing in a record-breaking and most profitable quarter like the iPhone 6 models did last year.

iphone 6s

The Rose Gold variant of the iPhone 6s

The low pre-bookings and comparatively sluggish sales over the first availability weekend in India don’t really come as a surprise. Here are a few reasons why the iPhone 6s hasn't managed to recreate the magic:

Outrageous pricing
Yes, that the word we would like to use to describe the new iPhone 6s pricing. Apple has priced the iPhone 6s base model, which has been toned down to 16GB from 32GB, at Rs 62,000 in India. Isn't that a bit too much of asking? The pricing further increases to Rs 72,000 for the 64GB variant; 82,000 for the 128GB model.

The iPhone 6s Plus takes it to another high starting at Rs 72,000 for the 16GB model; 82,000 for the 64GB model; and a whopping Rs 92,000 for the 128GB model. Its top-end model is mere Rs 8,000 short of a lakh, making it the most expensive handset in India. However, what's more disturbing is the prices at which the device is available in other countries. For instance, in the US, the iPhone 6s starts at $649 that translates to roughly Rs 42,235. In Singapore, the model starts at S$1,048 that is approximately Rs 48,295. The difference in the pricing goes up to Rs 20,000, making ‘emerging market' India the most expensive to buy an iPhone 6s.

Waiting for a price drop, easier EMI plans, zero down-payments
As seen in the past, the pricing cannot really stop an Apple fanboy from purchasing a device. When iPhone 3GS entered the Indian market back in 2008, it was priced over Rs 30,000, which may sound low now but was way too high compared to what the phones were selling at during that time. So, the pricing won't be a factor for too long as resellers will start offering easier EMIs (currently some online sites offer EMIs, for instance,  Snapdeal offers EMI option starting at Rs 3781) and zero down-payments as we have seen in the past. There are reports about a price drop coming soon too.

Last year's iPhone 6

Last year's iPhone 6

So, it is quite possible that users are waiting for a price drop. As seen in the past, retailers will begin with lucrative deals, exchange offers, easy payment options and so on. On the other hand, older iPhone models will also see a price drop, yet again, making India a dumping ground for some iPhone models that will become hotseller devices overnight.

'S' year of the iPhone
It's worth pondering over whether the new iPhones offer enough to compel users to cough up such a huge sum, especially existing the iPhone 6 owners, who could simply choose to wait another year for the next model to arrive.

Yes, as it turns out, the 's' on the iPhone stands for slight, to no change in the design and a handful of internal upgrades. A little alteration in the size, a new 3D Touch display, bumped up camera and performance, a cool Rose Gold option in addition to the Gold variant, make it desirable; but not enough for every iPhone 6 owner to look for an upgrade.

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