Older iPhones, and not the new iPhone 12 series, will drive sales this festive season
Apple’s new range of the 5G-enabled iPhone 12 series looks exciting, but it is not going to drive sales for the company this festive season. The older models are still doing well and are also in stock with sellers.
Apple launched its new iPhone 12 series on October 13, and these 5G-enabled devices are coming to India later this month. At least some of them. However, experts are of the opinion that older iPhone models - like the iPhone 11 and the iPhone SE (2020) are going to drive sales for Apple this festive season and not the new devices. According to the analysts Mint spoke to, the two older models are already doing well for Apple both offline and online and there is ample stock as well.
Navkendar Singh, research director at International Data Corporation (IDC) told Mint that the pricing is “absolutely out of sync for the Indian market again”. And adding to this is the fact that Apple's older models usually do well in India in the months that follow a new iPhone launch.
The same trend is expected to continue this year and all the more so since the new iPhone 12 series have launched later this year than normal. Apple usually launches their new iPhones in September every year, this year, thanks to the pandemic, it happened in October.
Also, Apple has slashed prices on the older iPhone 11, iPhone SE (2020) and the iPhone XR. And given that Amazon's Great Indian Festival and Flipkart's Big Billion Days sale are kicking off in just a few days, these older models are expected to be pushed out in “large quantities”.
Singh pointed out that Apple's new iPhone 12 models would have done well this festive season itself had they been launched earlier in September.
Independent analyst Madhumita Chaudhary told Mint that there are a lot of offers going on for iPhones and Apple has itself slashed prices on the iPhone 11, so this is going to drive sales for the device.
For those who really want one of the new iPhone 12 devices, they will in all likelihood wait for October 30 when they are going to launch in India. Most other buyers will be picking up the older models over these upcoming sales, analysts feel.
Singh added that sales last year were driven by the iPhone XR and the iPhone X. With discounts and sale offers, there are three models this year, the iPhone 11, iPhone SE (2020) and iPhone XR which are all priced below ₹55,000. These are the main devices that will drive volume for Apple this quarter.
Associate director of Counterpoint Research, Tarun Pathak, agreed with Singh's point but he added that the new iPhone 12 mini could also sell well this season. Pathak told Mint that new iPhones accounted for almost half of the sales for Apple last year, “growing from about 40% the year before”.
“However, overall, because Apple now has the widest portfolio ever in India, iPhone 11 will be very good for first-time iPhone users in India," Pathak said.
Also, experts have pointed out that most of the sales are going to be driven by online channels since Apple's own online store is live in India now and more people are in general buying online too.
“These online channels always have stocks of the older generation iPhones, which they push into the market with some discounts or offers," Pathak pointed out.
Flipkart plans to push out stocks of the iPhone 11 and SE during the Big Billion Days sale starting in a few days, according to an analyst who spoke to Mint on the condition of anonymity.
Pathak said that the premium smartphone market in India is expected to expand this quarter and Apple's success may not affect other players.
“We estimate that even with the overall smartphone market declining by 8% because of the pandemic, the premium market is expected to grow by about 16%," Pathak said adding that this accounts for only 4% of the overall market in India right now.