Older models are already doing well for the company and are in stock with sellers
Despite new iPhones coming to India later this month, experts expect the older iPhone 11 and SE (2020) to drive sales for Apple during the festive season. The two phones have already been doing well for the company and both online and offline retailers already have a lot of stock, according to analysts Mint spoke to.
“The pricing is absolutely out of sync for the Indian market again," said Navkendar Singh, research director, International Data Corporation (IDC). Apple’s older models usually do well in India in the months following a new iPhone launch, said Singh. This is expected to continue this year, especially as the iPhone 12 is launching later than usual. Further, Apple has dropped the price of the iPhone 11, SE and XR, and with e-commerce sales starting in a few days, companies are expected to push these out in large quantities.
“These models (iPhone 12) would have done well had they launched in September with this pricing," said Singh.
There are already a lot of offers going on and Apple itself has announced offers on the iPhone 11, which will also drive sales for that device, said independent analyst Madhumita Chaudhary.
Those who really want the new iPhones will likely wait for October 30, which is when they launch in India, but most buyers will pick up the older models during the sales, according to analysts.
“Last year also the sales were driven by XR and X. This year they have three models in the SE, XR and 11, which are ₹55,000 and below. Those will drive the volumes for them (during this quarter)," said Singh.
Tarun Pathak, associate director, Counterpoint Research, agreed, but pointed out that the iPhone 12 Mini could also sell well. New iPhones accounted for almost half of sales last year, growing from about 40% the year before, Pathak said. “However, overall, because Apple now has the widest portfolio ever in India, iPhone 11 will be very good for first-time iPhone users in India," he said.
Most sales are likely to be driven via online channels this year, because of Apple’s own e-commerce store being present in India now and as more people are buying online, experts said.
“These online channels always have stocks of the older generation iPhones, which they push into the market with some discounts or offers," Pathak said.
Flipkart plans to push out stocks of the iPhone 11 and SE during the Big Billion Days sale starting in a few days, according to one analyst who requested anonymity. Flipkart did not respond to a request for comment.
Apple’s success may not affect other players in the premium smartphone market in India, which, Pathak explained, is expected to expand this quarter. “We estimate that even with the overall smartphone market declining by 8% because of the pandemic, the premium market is expected to grow by about 16%," he said. It accounts for only 4% of the overall market in India right now, he said.