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There is a new definition for being cool in India? Holding an iPhone in your hand. Apple has succeed in tapping the middle class population of the country by making phones available on Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs).
In 2013, Apple wakened to the potential of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. India also happens to be the second-largest mobile market, with 800 million active users. Apple’s shipments have doubled from 2012 and will surpass 1 million phones in 2013.
Full front-page newspaper ads and TV commercials in recent months offered bonuses for trading in certain old phones and multiple deals, but with a single carrier so far. Wary of the inevitable branding-versus-pricing dilemma, Apple carefully couched these offers to not look like discounts.
Making the phones cheaper, without appearing to be cheap, is enticing a new category of young, brand-conscious Indians.
Mapping a pricing-versus-branding strategy for India has been tricky for Apple’s executives. The initial reaction to the iPhone 5 was tepid. Contrary to the prerelease buzz that some phones would be priced for “emerging markets,” Apple breached yet another Indian smartphone pricing barrier of 70,000 rupees: The top-end iPhone 5s costs 71,000 rupees, or $1,180.