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Apple skinning/swindling Indians?

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By Amartya Prasad

How many of you have visited an apple store hoping to buy that iphone or Macbook only to return home disappointed when you find out its too costly and call up your relatives up in the US(well we all have some far-off cousin residing there) to get it for you hoping it would be cheaper there ??  Turns out you were smarter than the rest.

Apple’s hotshot CEOs and marketing executives realised not so long ago that India is a very big market for them with lots of potential for profit. But the kind of profits  Apple earns in India is exorbitantly higher than what it makes almost anywhere else in the world. Apple sells its products for the highest price in India out of all its markets and this is not something new. Apple has been doing this ever since it entered the Indian market.

Lets look at iphone 4 for instance – launched in the US and the UK in June 2010, launched in India – may 2011, eleven months later that too at the price of Rs 32000 approx(entry level- model) with contract(available only  through Airtel  and Aircel) which is much higher than its price in the US off-contract [$650(approx rs 29000)based on May 2011 exchange rates]. The iphone 4 was not available off contract in india after that for a very long time(excluding the grey market).

Even now the base model iphone 5 costs Rs 55000/- in India while the cost of iphone 5S(hasn’t been launched in India yet) in the US is $649( approximately 40000/-).- a difference of 15 grands here.

Besides ,the Iphone 4 and iphone 4s are no longer sold in any country in the world except India – In other markets, the consumers are fairly aware of the latest Apple products unlike India where an Apple device is more of a status symbol with immense snob value than a smartphone or a laptop[iphone(s) and macbook(s) respectively]. In fact the iphone 4 outsells the 4S and 5 versions phenomenally in India.

Price of iphone 5 in the US- approx 36000 INR (off contract)based on current exchange rates)

Wait there’s more.

As for the base level non retina display  macbook pro 13-inch (dual-core i5 2.5ghz/4gb/500gb/hd graphics 4000/sd) inch its price in India is Rs 81,900 while you get it for less than Rs 64000 in the US based on current exchange rates. The difference goes an increasing as we look at higher variants.

This article is no way against apple products. I am myself out and out an Apple fan boy. The quality, reliability and craftsmanship , design, performance and innovativeness associated with Apple  is unmatched and can leave any critic dazed by its technological supremacy vis-a-vis inferior competitors or ‘copycats’ ??

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Even though I may be very big fan of Apple, but becoming aware of this practice of theirs has destroyed all my respect for the tech giant.

So folks, if you still want to buy an apple product go for it but don’t buy it from India. I would recommend that you buy it/get it from the USA or Hong Kong/Thailand and you ll save quite a bit of money. In fact, buying  a return ticket to Thailand and buying  the iphone 5/5s from there would be cheaper than buying it from India. So you can get  a newer better model for less than two thirds the price of the older model in India.

Apple is using India as a dumping ground for its old products. This might also explain why all Apple products are officially launched in India much later than most parts of the world because they know that Americans who are relatively more aware about latest products won’t buy an old model of a product when they know that a newer, better model has been launched.

Apple, I hope you’re reading this and you mend your ways soon. And anyway Apple won’t be able to continue this for too long as more and more upwardly mobile Indians are becoming aware of this practice.

So all you apple fans in India , fret not. You can always order online from Amazon or Ebay in case you can’t get it from  USA or Thailand/Hong Kong. It wont be long before apple learns its lesson. This is an act of dumping and i believe it must be reported to the ministry of commerce and Industry. There must be a provision to protect consumers from such unfair trade practices.

SO SPREAD THE WORD FOLKS.SPREAD THE WORD.

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