Last week was pretty exciting for the iPhone lovers. As the rumours encompassing the glamorous iPhone 5 finally subsided, there emerged a new fantasy in the form of iPhone 4S. After all the brouhaha over the iPhone 5 over the past few months, I am still trying to figure out whether iPhone 5 was ever a reality or just a figment of the blogosphere.
While the users in most of the part of the world rejoiced (or scorned) over the idea of the new iPhone, the users in India, once again, watched them with awe and envy. Yes, Apple has done it again. While the US/Canadian/Australian apple sites are busy welcoming the new member in the form of iPhone 4S, their Indian counterpart is cherishing iPhone 4 and iPhone 3Gs.
Why I would like to see iPhone 4S in India?
iPhone 4S did not turn out to be a drastically different phone as many would have expected it to be. The new phone, I feel, marks the same changes over its predecessor iPhone 4 as iPhone 4 once marked over iPhone 3Gs- improved processor, better camera and an updated OS. The changes would have been perfectly accepted, had it been some other company, and not Apple. But looking at the cult following that Apple enjoys, current users (of iPhone 4 at least) would have wanted a little bit extra to make an upgrade. Having said that, launch of iPhone 4Gs is still necessary in India because of two reasons.
First, it would bring down the price of iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, which is essential to spur their growth in Indian markets. IPhones, though an example of master craftsmanship, are still overpriced for our markets. For example, priced at Rs 19900, would you still consider iPhone 3Gs, which is now two generations old?
Second, the entry of iPhone 4Gs would also mean that the 4G and 3Gs version would be available outright through the Apple stores, giving a much needed flexibility to the users. The entry of a new model would also compel the telecom service providers to come up with few more options for the users.
India with 858.3 million users is the world’s second largest mobile-users market, after China. The data from a research firm Cybermedia further suggests that the Indian market is posed to grow by 25% (about 210 million) by the end of this year and smartphones sales will also double during the period. Manufactures like Samsung and HTC have been smart enough to realize the potential and adapt accordingly. And so far, they have been successful in making a place for themselves. Apple, on the other hand has maintained a shy attitude towards the Indian market. I wonder whether it is a part of their well-defined-market strategy or their sheer haughtiness, but whatever it is, I feel that this is the time for them to join the queue with other players. After all, Customer is still the king, no matter where he comes from.