The much awaited launch of Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus took place this week. They will be available for sale in India on 29th September, a week after they go on sale in the US. The top end iPhone X will debut on the November 3rd. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be available for Rs.64000 onwards while iPhone X starts at Rs.89000. Apple Inc. has also slashed the prices of the previous generation handsets which include iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus by as much as Rs.8300. iPhone 8 will compete with Samsung Galaxy Note 8 which will be available in India from September 21 and is priced at Rs.67900.
iPhone X marks the ten year anniversary of the launch of the first iPhone and will be available in India from 3rd November. It is packed with features like super retina display, facial recognition and an enhanced camera. With iPhone X the company has added a new category where the loyal users can upgrade to a ‘premium plus’ segment while the users of older generation handsets can upgrade to iPhone 7 or 8 series. It is expected that the initial sales of the handsets will be high with Apple loyalists upgrading their devices irrespective of the value addition or pricing.
Consumers can cheer the move of a price cut in the older generation handsets. The iPhone7 (32 GB) will now be available at Rs.49000 and iPhone 7 Plus (32 GB) will be available for Rs.59000. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus come with a variant of 64GB and 256 GB, it will start retailing in the US from 22nd September and in India from 29th September.
Apple, which is the world’s second largest handset maker, is optimistic about India which is a key growth market. In the company’s earnings call last month, the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook said Apple is investing in the country and has set up an app accelerator center in India. It is working with channel partners to expand its roadmap in the country. Apple however, will have to cut out the competition with Samsung’s S8 and Galaxy Note 8. Samsung is betting big on Note 8 in order to consolidate the position in the Indian smartphone market where it claims to have 68% share.
As per Counterpoint Research Data, Apple had a 2.3% market share and ranked 11th in the Indian smartphone market while Samsung ranked number 1 in India with a share of 24%. In terms of value, Apple was at the fifth spot with a 10% share in the Indian smartphone market in June 2017. The Indian smartphone market is highly competitive with various companies offering lower priced smartphones. Apple now has its biggest ever iPhone line up with eight models including the iPhone6 series. This means that the company can use the portfolio of low end iPhones to acquire new users in the emerging markets.