Apple iPhone 11 Now Reportedly Cheaper by Rs 17,000 in China — Will India Follow Suit?

Apple is reportedly offering a sizeable reduction of prices of its iPhone 11 lineup in China. A report by Chinese technology publication MyDrivers has stated that on many e-commerce portals, the prices of the iPhone 11 lineup have gone down by between 500 and 1,600 Yuan, making an overall difference of about Rs 5,000 to 17,000 in the new, reduced prices of iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max in China. Now, the iPhone 11 (64GB) starts at 4,999 Yuan (~Rs 53,900), while the absolute top-of-the-range iPhone 11 Pro Max (512GB) is priced at 11,099 Yuan (~Rs 1,19,600). In contrast, the same two devices are priced at Rs 68,300 and Rs 1,50,800 in India, marking a stark disparity in the pricing of the iPhones in the two countries.

According to the purported price list shared by MyDrivers, prices of all storage variants of iPhone 11 have gone down by 500 Yuan (~Rs 5,400), while the difference for iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are 1,200 Yuan (~Rs 13,000) and 1,600 Yuan (~Rs 17,200) respectively. In contrast, in India, iPhone 11 is more expensive by Rs 3,400 to Rs 4,200, costing at least Rs 68,300 for the base storage variant. The iPhone 11 Pro now costs at least Rs 1,06,600, hence being dearer by Rs 5,400 to Rs 7,100. The iPhone 11 Pro Max is now more expensive by Rs 5,900 to Rs 7,600, costing at least Rs 1,17,100.

With China attempting to reopen its factories, retail stores and facilities, and in effect resuming normal lives across the country in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, Apple will be keen to resume business strongly in China, which is one of its key markets. Apple chief Tim Cook has, over time, spoken about how Apple’s performance in China affects the rest of its business globally, and while the company had great expectations from 2020, its general plans have been thrown out of gear due to the unforeseen viral outbreak. By offering a fairly generous price cut, Apple will likely be looking to resume sales with a bang, and have its iPhone 11 inventory clear out fast in hope of making the iPhone 12 launch in time.

India, however, still remains an important but bit-part market for Apple. The nation’s focus on value centric devices mean that while Indians are buying more iPhones than ever before, it still isn’t a high volume market for the iPhone maker. The price hike of iPhones in India was also a direct result of the increase in the goods and service tax rate on mobile phones from 12 percent to 18 percent, making the already premium and expensive iPhones even pricier for most in India. With the entire nation still under lockdown due to COVID-19, it remains to be seen if Apple takes any similar steps, once India recovers from the coronavirus setback.

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