1:05 pm - Sunday November 8, 2015

Will Apple fans bite? Grey market demands Rs 1 lakh for iPhone 6, 6 Plus in India

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iPhone 5S in India costs 22.3% against GDP
iPhone 5S in India costs 22.3% against GDP

Apple launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus yesterday. Officially the pre-orders for the new devices open on 12 September and it will launch in 10 countries on 19 September. The list of countries is US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK. Forget about India, even China (where the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launched during the first phase) is not on the list.

 

Now like the with iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s launch, the smartphones are already available in India or so it would seem. And like in the case of the two older phones, grey market dealers want exorbitant prices for getting these devices to India before the official 17 October launch date.

 

Despite what research analysts keep saying about the Indian smartphone, that customers want sub-$100 smartphone, it seems that at least some Indian consumers are okay with paying Rs 1 lakh for a smartphone.

 

If you go to ebay India, you’ll find the iPhone 6 is already being sold on the site by some enterprising folks. One seller lists the price as Rs one lakh, for both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus though it’s not clear if he’s selling both devices. What is really interesting is that for the description bit of the device where you can see that someone has badly pasted the entire Apple website. Literally.

 

Other dealers have listed the iPhone 6 Plus 16 GB for slightly more reasonable rates of Rs 85,000 and Rs 90,000. Now customers must note that these aren’t officially recognised selling points and there’s a huge risk in paying such sellers. You may or may not get the device.

 

And it’s not just the online world, that is claiming to sell the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. As this Economic Times report points out, in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata’s grey market, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus market already has a quoting price that starts at Rs 80,000 plus.

 

The report adds that “in Mumbai’s Crawford Market and the Heera Panna shopping complex, the 16GB iPhone 6 was being quoted at around Rs 80,000-85,000.”

 

The rates it seems are slightly more reasonable in New Delhi and Kolkata where the 16GB version of the iPhone 6 has a price of Rs 55,000-60,000, adds the report. It is Rs 5,000-10,000 extra for the 5.5-inch screen iPhone 6 Plus.

 

As far as official pricing goes, the new iPhone 6 will start at the same price of existing iPhones at $199 for US customers while the iPhone 6 Plus will be at $299 with a two-year contract. An India price has not been announced as yet.

 

The contract free version of the iPhone 6 starts at $649 and iPhone 6 Plus starts at $749 (for 16 GB version). That’s close to Rs 40,000 and Rs 45,000 for the two versions without taxes. Of course when the two devices launch in India, the iPhone 6 could cost between Rs 40-45,000, while the iPhone 6 Plus could carry a Rs 50,000 for the 16 GB version. Where the 64 GB and 128 GB version go, except them to be priced even higher.

 

 

Where the new Apple devices are concerned, the biggest changes come in the screen and the camera. Sure Apple Pay is also a part of the new iPhones, but that won’t work in India, at least for now.

 

It should be pointed out that for the time, the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will launch in India is less than a month from the official launch date, given that last time the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c came to India on Diwali in November, close to two months after the US launch. For those who want to flaunt their iPhone well before everyone else gets their hand on it Rs 1 lakh might seem like a small price. For the rest of the crowd, it’s best to wait for the official launch, since it’s happening in October itself.

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