How much is too much for Apple’s iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus?

We’re just a week away from the Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus finally hitting store shelves in India. While the devices will be up for grabs starting 16 October, the official prices of the devices are out. The iPhone 6s will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB variants at Rs 62,000, Rs 72,000 and Rs 82,000, respectively. The iPhone 6s Plus 16GB, 64GB and 128Gb models will be priced at 72,000,Rs 82,000 and Rs 92,000, respectively.

And, that makes it the most expensive smartphone in India. However, how much is too much is quite debatable. But even if you could afford the most expensive phone in the world, isn’t paying for a product (no matter how great it is) beyond a certain point sound silly. So, how much is too much when it comes to the prices of the new iPhone? Here’s what some of our writers think. Please do let us know what you think about the new prices?

Naina Khedekar
Those looking to buy a flagship smartphone from a seasoned OEM would have to easily shell out an amount roughly between Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000. And, when it comes to Apple it’s a different story all together. The fiercely competitive phone market in India hasn’t compelled the company to pare down its sky rocketing prices. The new iPhone 6s, 6s Plus have taken the pricing to a new level altogether. Apple iPhone 6s models start at Rs 62,000 and go all the way up to Rs 92,000. Spending an amount well over half a lakh for 16GB storage is outright ridiculous. And if you are going for the best model than the company is asking you to shell out almost a lakh. Now, that’s a lot of money.

Considering how tactfully Apple has replaced storage options from 16/32/64GB to 16/64/128GB for the iPhone 6s, you will be paying too much just to own the brand Apple. However, considering Apple’s strong fan following that may really not stop people from buying the devices. It’s too early to say whether the new iPhone 6s models will break records here, but sales figure of Apple’s older models could accelerate. It’s one of the main reasons why Apple’s revenue earner in India was an iPhone 4s even months after the iPhone 5s and 5c were launched here.

Apple is one of the most successful companies on the planet and when it comes to its phones, they have managed to earn massive profits year on year. So the pricing of the iPhone at Rs 62,000 is not really surprising. In India, Apple has always priced the iPhones at stratospheric levels, as compared to competition – with the exception of Sony, Samsung, HTC and LG. And, the funny thing is, Apple iPhone sales keep growing every year. In fact, iPhone Q3 sales grew by as much as 93% in India, a growth rate higher than China in the same quarter. Sure, in terms of numbers there were around 500,000 phones sold as compared to China’s 14.5 million. Till the end of June, Apple managed to sell 1.5 million iPhones.

A customer looking to buy an Apple iPhone is quite different from someone who is looking for affordable flagship phones. For him or her, the aspirational value of owning an Apple product, may at times surpass other parameters. For these users, price point is not such as big consideration. For those exceptional few who look at price, Apple is tying up with telecom partners to come up with attractive plans and EMI schemes.

The iPhone 6S starts at Rs 62,000. Last year, the iPhone 6 Plus had started at Rs 62,500; this time around the iPhone 6S Plus will start from Rs 72,000! Personally, I find the price to be ridiculous, but I know eventual sales numbers would prove me wrong. At a time when you are getting the best of features at half that price point, I wonder if it is worth shelling out that kind of money just to get the ‘Apple’ experience. Sure, the Force Touch feature is unique, but how long will it take for other Android smartphones to offer that feature? The cameras on the iPhones have been great, but cameras on other Android flagships aren’t bad either.

But where Apple is concerned, clearly no price is too high a price it seems. The only way one can expect launch prices to come to sensible levels is if the sales numbers speak otherwise. For that, we will have to wait and watch.

Since the past month or so, many have been enquiring about the new iPhone. There have been devices priced around the Rs 50000 range. The LG G4 and Sony Xperia Z5 are classic examples. LG barely made money last year, and Sony is struggling too. I remember there used to be a time when discussions with friends and colleagues who follow technology would agree spending over Rs 20000 on a phone isn’t prudent.

Of late, the finer details have begun to matter. Looks, build and a lot of the superficial factors have gained prominence. Spec sheets are important, but to an extent. As pointed out by Nimish earlier, if price was really a concern, premium phones should have been on the decline. But clearly some aren’t. Consumers are finding the means to pay premium prices.

However, Android smartphones at the top end have begun to taper. Probably explaining the trends with LG, Sony and Samsung (Galaxy apart), which have begun to witness a downward trend. In part, these are due to the aggressive positioning by emerging companies such as OnePlus and Xiaomi for a fraction of the cost. An amusing conversation I once had was that for the price of the new iPhone, a family could get 4 Xiaomi Mi 4 smartphones. But I guess it’s the heart’s contentment that everyone strives for. To each his/her own, I’d say!

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