A cursory check about the search term ‘iPhone’ in India over the last 30 days, over at Google Insights for Search makes a telling statement.
The interest was at its highest around Aug 22, the day of the launch and steadily waning thereafter. Many have written about the lukewarm response and buyers being in the region of a few thousands. iPhone has managed to stay in the news through write ups about the App Store and the EMI’s offered by the telecom operators. There is also talk of BSNL offering 3G services on iPhone from December. All of these will not do much to the iPhone sales, except a price drop.
What are the options for Apple & telecom operators?
Do nothing: I am not too sure if India is a priority market yet for Apple. So wait till the few thousands get their iPhone, hope for a blip with the EMIs motivating a few more and then…wait some more. If there is any change in the priorities attached to the Indian market, that could be a stimulus. If the iTunes India store get music & videos (beyond the Apps) that could be a motive to make the iPhone cheaper.
Drop the price: if done too soon, it would seem like admitting a mistake. The telecom operators must be adopting a wait & watch policy with the impending N96 launch (wonder how its pre-booking has fared). The drop in price could also be linked to supply of the iPhone. If the prices drop to the level of the US price, with bundled pricing, are they geared up to meet the demand?
My guess is that nothing will happen on the price front at least until the festive season. Around Diwali we may see a price drop. Or so we hope.