iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus made their official debuts in India at midnight on Friday, October 16, and according to local retailers, the response to Apple’s latest iPhones was “lukewarm.” It’s thought that just 50,000 devices were sold across Mumbai and New Delhi over the weekend.
Indian customers were keen to welcome the new iPhone, and there were plenty of people lined up to buy one at midnight on Friday — leading Tim Cook to tweet about the launch. But according to one report, local retailers weren’t quite as excited.
“Conversations with general, modern and online trade across cities, such as Mumbai and Delhi, indicate the opening weekend has seen a tepid response to the new iPhones,” reports Arnab Dutta of Business Standard. Cumulative sales over the first weekend are estimated to be in the region of 50,000 across all retail formats.”
In comparison, Apple shipped 55,000 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus into India last year, all of which were snapped up during the first 72 hours of availability. Apple increased that number to 165,000 this year, but it’s thought only 50,000 have been claimed so far.
One of the reasons for this could be the price of iPhone 6s in India, where a 16GB device starts at a whopping 62,000 rupees ($955), making the entry-level iPhone 16 percent more expensive than the iPhone 6 was this time last year.
However, according to Alok Gupta, CEO of The Mobile Store, sales are higher than those of the iPhone 6 family last year. Gupta believes, however, that customers are in “wait-and-watch” mode, anticipating a possible price drop before committing to Apple’s new devices.
“The initial rush is typically of die-hard Apple fans, who have come flocking to our stores,” Gupta told Business Standard. “Sales are up 30-40 per cent over last year. But the second wave will come after a brief lull, possibly after prices fall.”
It should be noted, however, that another reason for the apparent decline could be that Apple teamed up with online retailers in India this year. Customers were able to pre-book their new iPhone online, so not everyone had to line up outside a store on launch day to bag one.
Avijit Mitra, CEO of Infiniti Retail, which runs the Croma chain, confirms that there has been an increase in pre-bookings online this year.