Apple iPhone launch in US today: Retailers expect sales to rise as customers await new smartphone
Mumbai: Mayank Gulati, 24, an information technology (IT) professional, plans to switch from his Samsung S6 to the 10th anniversary edition this year, even if it costs the rumoured $1,000. “The new iPhone is highly futuristic. I definitely believe it will be worth the rumoured $1,000,” said Gulati, who is looking forward to the US launch event, which will start at 10.30pm India time on Tuesday, to find out about the features of the new phone.
Apple loyalist Prarthana Bhattacharjee, a 21-year-old based in Mumbai, who owns a MacBook Air, an iPhone 5C and an iMac, has similar plans. She wants to exchange her present iPhone 7 for the latest model but after reviewing the features of the new launch.
The launch date for India is yet to be announced.
“There is a lot of excitement around the iPhone,” said the head of sales at a premium authorized Apple reseller in Mumbai who has four stores. According to him, the launch creates a buzz on two counts. One, for people who want to buy the latest offering and two, because the older models will become cheaper and hence more attractive to a larger base of price-sensitive consumers.
“We have seen that customers are wary and wait for new features to be announced instead of believing the rumours. Almost 70% of total sales of the iPhone 6S were after the iPhone 7 was launched because the model became cheaper and also because the 7 wasn’t attractive enough feature-wise. But about 15% of our customers are loyalists and always prefer the latest model, which they take up with the financing schemes,” he said, on the condition of anonymity.
Croma, an electronics retail stores chain, expects at least 15% of its iPhone 7 and 7S customers to upgrade to the anniversary edition phone within a month of the India launch, according to Ritesh Ghosal, chief marketing officer, Infiniti Retail, which operates Croma.
“Apple commands strong loyalty. The drawing factor is that it provides the advantages of a closed ecosystem, meaning that it has almost every feature a user requires within the domain of exclusivity (Apple Music, FaceTime, iMessage, quality camera),” said Ghosal, adding that Croma enjoys good business from high-end customers and early adopters who want to test newer models.
After a tepid year on account of demonetisation and introduction of the goods and services tax (GST), retailers are optimistic about the upcoming festive season. The festive periods starting with Navratri on 21 September followed by Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas will see a host of new smartphone launches. These include Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Google’s Pixel 2, Nokia 8, and a rumored special edition of the OnePlus 5.
Retailers will also run attractive schemes, promotions and offers. E-commerce firms Amazon and Flipkart have already started advertising and the latter has announced its intention to double sales during this period.
Even Croma, which offers financing schemes like EMI tie-ups with Bajaj Finance and Tata Capital, phone exchanges and cashback offers, may ease its offers depending on the demand, said Ghosal.
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