As a result of the falling Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar, which last closed at a record low of 59.93 Indian rupee to US$1 last week before bouncing back to 59.73 today, Indian consumers can expect to pay up to 10 percent more for mobile phones come July, reports The Times of India.
Major brands such as Apple, BlackBerry, Nokia, and Samsung import most devices into India, although there are some models from Nokia and Samsung which are manufactured locally. Regardless, due to the depreciating Indian rupee and increase input costs, this will result in direct increase to consumers, effective immediately.
Even Indian brands such as Lava Mobile, Micromaxx, and Karbonn are feeling the pinch and are anticipating to raise prices soon. This could also lead to the end of DataWind's Aakash series of tablets claim to be the world’s most affordable tablets. Furthermore, Chinese brands which have begun to enter to Indian market with more dominance could face further hurdles, as even been directly imported from China, they are still more affordable to purchase than mobile phones from Indian brands that make devices in India.
The result of increased prices could result in Indian consumers putting off purchases for new devices until absolutely required, as in the case of a damaged or lost device. This could also affect the purchase of devices around festive seasons in India, such as Diwali in November.
In my opinion, the Indian brands should offer the same offers currently being offered by Samsung and now Nokia, that is, trade in your old device for a new device, with zero payment down, and zero interest on monthly EMI payments. The only catch with this scheme is that it has to be approved by one of the banks, such as ICICI Bank or Standard Chartered, and you must be a customer.
The drawback of this scheme is that it's mainly only available in the larger metros of India. People in rural India are out of luck, and that's where the Indian brands can come in and take advantage of the situation and offer consumers in rural India what both Samsung and Nokia are currently not able to do so.
Of course, the other option for getting your hands on the latest and greatest device is to ask a friend or relative overseas to bring it with them on their next trip to India. Surprisingly, this is still quite a popular and preferred choice for tech savvy Indians.