The Reliance Group promoted iStore is running a promotion called Mac to College, in Bangalore. The attempt is to plug the Mac as an alternate choice for college goers. The billboard says, ‘Stand from your college crowd’. The billboard claims that the Macbook price starts at a base price of Rs.43,800. At that price it sure is competitive compared to the Windows PCs. Though its not clear what the landing price to the consumer will be. The special price is meant for ‘select educational institutions’. I just called the store and figured that this promo entitles students for a 12% discount on a Macbook or Macbook Pro. The qualifying universities are Bangalore, Mangalore and Manipal Universities.
In the US, Apple has been targeting schools too with price-offs and consumer promos. In the current promo, you can get a free iPod touch or iPod nano. Drool.
In India, I suspect the barriers for considering a Mac as a college laptop would be: (a) unfamiliarity with the Mac platform (b) the price and (c) being unable to use Windows and Microsoft apps. The first barrier is slowly getting wilted thanks to the popularity of iPod and now, the Macbook. The second barrier, price is slowly being eroded with the narrowing gap between similarly configured Macbooks and PCs. The third barrier is the ironic part. I suspect one of the biggest selling points for a Mac in India would be its ability to run Windows. I know of a few resellers who load Boot Camp and partition the disk to run Windows when selling a Mac. Buying a Mac and running Windows? Sigh. Pretty much defeats the purpose, eh?
According to the iStore spokesperson,’many students’ are walking in. And they are not buying it because they can run Windows in it. They are buying it, ‘because its Apple’! Is the Apple halo finally dawning in India?