From losing key executives to losing the top spot in the premium smartphone market, 2018 has been a difficult year for Apple in India. But with the “most affordable” new iPhone of the year launching in India and elsewhere on Friday, the Cupertino giant will hope to entice buyers — new and old — in the market.
The new model features an iPhone X-like display notch that includes the TrueDepth camera system, the technology that enables facial recognition feature Face ID. It also has the same A12 Bionic SoC that is powering the more premium iPhone XS Max₹ 99,300 and iPhone XS ₹ 91,788. Despite the similarities with last year’s iPhone X and the latest and the greatest iPhone models, the iPhone XR₹ 76,900 starts at Rs. 76,900, making it the most affordable phone that looks like the iPhone X. The price, however, is still higher than even premium Android smartphones that have much better specifications on paper.
Market analysts believe that it won’t be the spec-sheet that will persuade customers to pick the iPhone XR over a top-of-the-line Android smartphone.
“As compared to premium Android smartphones, the iPhone XR will fare poorly on a spec-to-spec comparison, including imaging or display,” observes Rushabh Doshi, Research Manager, Canalys. “However, Apple’s appeal is not in the internals or specs. Its stickiness is high, and users who wish to remain in the ecosystem will buy an iPhone XR.”
Tarun Pathak of Counterpoint Research echoes Doshi’s belief, pointing out that the iPhone XR could be a good upgrade for iPhone users who have skipped the previous-generation iPhone models.
“Hardcore Apple and rich affluent users will be willing to shell that price since it’s a status symbol for them, but then that section of users is small,” Pathak, Associate Director of Counterpoint Research, tells Gadgets 360. “However, we believe that Apple strategy in India should be to sell more iPhones rather than new iPhones. Given the stickiness of the iOS ecosystem, these older iPhone users are likely to upgrade to iPhone only.”