Recent statistics show that India has become an important market for Apple Inc. The tech company's strategy of introducing equal monthly installments (EMI) and cash back schemes are behind the soaring sales of its smartphones which have risen by 300% to 400%.
The Economic Times, quoting research analyst Sunil Thirumalai, reported that EMI schemes have helped raise the iPhone sale figure from what was previously just 70,000-80,000 smartphones a year.
"From Our channel checks we believe that iPhone sales are nearing 400,000 units per month in India- that is nearly 3% share of a single top-end product in a market that has long been dominated by low-end feaure phones", said the research analyst from Credit Suisse.
According to publishing and conference company Informa, smartphone subscription in India rises by 52% year-on-year, a figure surpassed by Taiwan, and it is predicted to have 67 million smartphone subscribers by the end of the year. This growth pace will enable it to become the fifth major smartphone market after China, US, Japan and Brazil.
A few months ago, the Cupertino-based Company rolled out its EMI scheme, by which potential iPhone customers could make partial payment and claim their iPhone 4 and 4S models and later remit the rest of the amount in six to 12 months, without any interest.
"The 4-9% implicit discount coupled with the option of easy EMIs spread over 6-12 months became popular. Within a few months, our discussions with handset retailers indicated that iPhone sales went up 3-4x, forcing companies to respond," said Thirumalai.
Apple actually lowered the price of its premier product category for customers in India, adding an 18% discount by April on top of the earlier offer (nearly doing away with the down-payment), resulting in almost 23-27% discount on its product. Earlier in May, it started offering students an discount of $134 (₹7,777) on some of its iPhone models.
Companies like Samsung, Nokia and Blackberry have also followed suit, exploring and stretching the Indian smartphone markets to the maximum.
For its retail strategy, Apple had partnered with telecom operators in India, mainly Bharati Airtel and Aircel.