Despite its efforts to manufacture iPhones locally in India, Apple is still struggling to make its flagship product, the iPhone 15, affordable for Indian consumers. While other smartphone manufacturers have been able to pass on the benefits of local manufacturing to consumers, Apple seems to be keeping those benefits to itself.
Despite local manufacturing efforts, the iPhone 15 remains prohibitively expensive for Indian consumers. Apple’s limited collaborations with local banks and the lack of access to various services have contributed to the high prices and the feeling that Apple treats India as a second-class market.
iPhone 15 Pricing and Availability
The iPhone 15, which is priced at $799 in the United States, will be available in India for 79,900 rupees ($965). The higher-end models, such as the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max, priced at $999 and $1,199 respectively in the US, will be sold in India for 1,34,900 rupees ($1,628) and 1,59,900 rupees ($1,930) respectively. It’s worth noting that the Indian rupee has depreciated against the US dollar in the past year, contributing to the higher prices in the country.
Limited Financing Options and Trade-In Value
On top of the high prices, Apple has limited collaborations with local banks in India, making it difficult for customers to avail financing options when purchasing an iPhone. Additionally, trading in an old iPhone at an Apple store in India typically results in a significantly lower trade-in value, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that customers only receive about one-third of the original value of their device.
Apple’s Treatment of the Indian Market
Apple’s treatment of the Indian market has been a cause for concern among industry observers for years. Despite the high prices, Indian customers do not have access to many of Apple’s services, including News+, Fitness+, and Apple Pay. The Apple Card and its associated savings account feature are also absent from the Indian market. Even Apple Maps and Siri offer fewer features to Indian customers.
In a JPMorgan note to clients, analysts highlighted that other companies in the industry, such as local players in China and India, are better positioned to leverage their pricing strategies and make the market more competitive. It remains to be seen whether Apple will adjust its pricing strategy and enhance its offerings in the Indian market to stay competitive.