iPhone SE rs. 39,000 prizes: relax, MRP no longer means what it used to
Overnight – literally in this case – the iPhone SE went from being an aggressively priced product in India that was about to eat the lunch of several high-end Android phones, to a maybe nice product, but “too expensive” in the eyes of many people.
We are of course talking about Apple’s decision to price the iPhone SE at Rs. 39,000, a move which was communicated as a correction in the early hours of Tuesday morning (IST) as the company announced “by error” a price of Rs. 30,000 on Monday evening, a few minutes after the launch.
Much has been written about the move and how Apple “doomed” the iPhone SE with the “new” price. While sentiment may have been on solid footing a few years ago, this statement does not reflect market realities of how Apple has operated in India over the past 12-18 months.
(Also see: Launch date of iPhone SE in India announced)
There was a time when Apple products, especially iPhones, were only sold at MRP. Even 10 months after the launch of a new phone, you’d be hard pressed to get it for a significantly lower amount anywhere in the market. This is in line with Apple policy around the world, as the company likes to control prices with a very tight leash. That’s why you don’t see most Apple products available at a deep discount, even at international third-party retailers.
Ostensibly responding at least in part to the discount culture propagated by e-commerce websites and, more importantly, waking up to the realities of doing business in India, Apple now offers its distributors far more pricing flexibility than it may not offer any to its partners in any country. another country, even though the model is no different from the way business has been conducted by other companies in that country for decades.
The entry-level 11-inch MacBook Air was available at a deep discount until very recently, at a price that made it the best deal on a MacBook worldwide – yes, it was cheaper to buy the 11 inch MacBook Air in India than in the United States, after taking into account local taxes in both countries.
(Also see: Apple iPhone SE first impressions)
Perhaps the first time the iPhone was available at a substantial discount was around Diwali 2014, when the iPhone 5s dropped below Rs. 30,000 mark online, when its official price was closer to Rs. 45,000. While this wave was mainly fueled by discounts from e-commerce players, the iPhone 6, and more recently iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, have been available at discounts substantial on the MRP, thanks to the aggressive positioning of Apple’s distributors, as we noted earlier.
So, if you think the iPhone SE was a great buy at Rs. 30,000, but is overpriced at Rs. 39,000, don’t stress. If recent trends are any indication, the iPhone SE will likely ship closer to the price you liked on Monday night – don’t expect Apple to officially acknowledge that. Of course, that may still be “too expensive” for many, but that’s a debate for another day.