Can India iPhone 5c, 5s launch cash in on Diwali festive season?

Apple’s global release of the new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s will be hitting Indian shores on November 1. While it appears to have slashed prices, it may find it harder than before to find success.
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor on

The Apple iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, already released in regions such as Canada and the U.S., sold out within minutes, with people lining up for days to get their hands on the new devices.

Can Apple's India new iPhone launch cash in on festive Diwali season?

In India, it's not common for people do this. In fact, it's completely unheard of. In contrast, diehard Apple fans would have better luck finding a new iPhone on the gray market, for prices up to 100,000 rupees (US$1,627), and yes, people have paid that much, if not more, for these new devices.

What many people outside of India may not realize is that Apple doesn't have any official Apple stores or vendors across India to begin with. Basically, their products are picked up by merchants who are willing to stock their shelves with Apple products, and usually, these are high end retailers in malls. Walk into any of the mobile shops in the bazaars and markets in New Delhi, and very rarely, you'll find an Apple product. Instead, they're stocked up with India-made Nokia and Samsung devices, which sell really well, along with Indian devices too.

In spite of this, Apple still has a loyal following in India, and on November 1, the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s will be released across India, reports The Times of India. Leading telecom operators Airtel and Reliance Communications will be selling the new Apple devices in India, as Airtel is already accepting pre-registration. Market source indicates prices have been set for the iPhone 5c, starting at 41,900 rupees (US$682) for the 16 GB variant, and 53,500 rupees (US$871) for the 32 GB variant. The iPhone 5s starts at 53,500 rupees for the 16 GB variant, 62,500 rupees (US$1,017) for the 32 GB variant, and finally 71,500 rupees (US$1,163) for the 64 GB variant.

Wow, is all I can say. That's a lot of money for a phone that has security features such fingerprint scanning, which have already been broken, or hacked, by enthusiasts. For those diehard Apple fans who want the latest variant, sure, they'll spent the money and buy one, but in my personal opinion, I don't think the new devices will be such a hit as they have been in the past.

The main reason is the depreciating rupee against the U.S. dollar; for the price, you can a decent tablet or phablet, which are also becoming more popular across India, at almost half the price.

Furthermore, as Apple doesn't have official retailers across India, there could initially be a supply and demand issue, which could very easily turn people away to other devices.

Finally, with Diwali, the Festival of Lights, or basically "Indian Christmas" around the corner and in November too, it's guaranteed that prices for other devices will also be slashed.

Perhaps this is why Apple had waited to release the new devices in November, around Diwali. But again, if you ask me, Apple has a huge battleground to face in India and with an already big sticker price, it's highly unlikely they'll immediately slash prices either, again luring customers to look at other devices.

Editorial standards


I put the Apple Watch Ultra through a Tough Mudder: Here's how it held up

I put the Apple Watch Ultra through a Tough Mudder: Here's how it held up

I made a huge Apple Watch mistake
Scratches, scratches, scratches!

I made a huge Apple Watch mistake

The cheapest electric cars you can buy (plus how the federal tax credit works)
Placeholder product image alt text

The cheapest electric cars you can buy (plus how the federal tax credit works)