Ahmedabad-based Infibeam, which was getting left out in all the hullabaloo around billion dollar funding of ecommerce, has come back by being the sole authorized online reseller for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. It has now come out with a firm delivery date for iPhone 6 sales in India.
The online retail firm has promised to deliver iPhones 6 and iPhone 6 plus on October 17 in all urban areas, and in rural areas in a couple of more days.
The prices are largely along expected lines. The prices for iPhone 6 are as follows –
While the prices for the iPhone 6 Plus are as follows:
The launch, about a month after the phone was launched in the US, will go down as the fastest launch of a new iPhone model ever.
It is also interesting that Apple has chosen to go with just one authorized online retailer for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Phone companies are eager to have full control over the prices charged by online retailers for their models so as to ensure that their offline partners also manage to make some money.
The margins for offline retailers are in the thousands of rupees category, while online retailers work on margins as low as 50-100 rupees.
However, offline retailers have repeatedly complained to phone brands about low prices being offered by online retailers. As a result, companies are increasingly going through ‘exclusive’ partners for online selling to retain control over prices.
However, technically, no company can ban a firm like Flipkart, Snapdeal or Amazon from sourcing the phone from the distributors and wholesalers and selling it cheaper than market rates.
The prices announced by Infibeam are exactly the prices that Apple has stipulated, and not lower than that. The prices are what you can get in brick and mortar stores as well.
As such, it is not clear if people will buy in large numbers from online channels when they can walk into an Apple showroom and buy it immediately for the same amount.
Infibeam is offering EMI schemes from four banks. The lowest interest rate is 12% – for a 3 month EMI scheme. For 18 months or above, the interest rate is 15%.
For iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Amazon too has started taking preorders on its website starting today at 12 noon. It is not clear if the prices will be the same.
iPhone 5 sales had run into rough weather after online retailers such as Snapdeal started offering big discounts on the phone. This led to offline retailers having to explain their prices to customers and often losing business.
Whether Apple manages to keep online prices high will depend on Amazon’s pricing, which will be revealed by noon.