Indian market becoming important for Apple, say analysts

The response the iPad Mini is getting in stores in India is just the same as other Apple products did when they hit the market.

The reason: “It’s Apple!” exclaimed Mukesh Shah, a shop-owner at Heera Panna, in Mumbai.

Like all other Apple products, the iPad Mini, launched on Friday, has enough and more takers. “The response has been very good. We have already sold four to five pieces this morning and expect to sell more during the course of the day,” said Rahul Prajapati, Store Manager, Reliance iStore (Ghatkopar), a premium Apple retailer.

Three versions

The iPad Mini is available in three versions. The 16GB Wi-Fi only version costs Rs 21,900, while the 32GB and 64GB versions are priced at Rs 27,500 and Rs 32,000, respectively. Apple also launched the 9.7-inch fourth generation iPad (starting from Rs 31,900) in stores on Friday.

“We have ordered about 30-40 pieces in the first lot. Once we are done selling those, we will start taking pre-orders for the second lot,” added Prajapati.

The launch of the iPad Mini in India comes just after Apple launched the iTunes store for the Indian market. Analysts as well as ‘Tweeple’ (users on social network Twitter) said India market has suddenly become an important market for Apple.

Falling market share has made Apple foray into the seven-inch tablet space, said analysts. The phone and tablet-maker has been facing stiff competition from rivals such as Samsung, Google and Amazon.

India market

As Twitter-user Lazylorenzo tweeted: “It seems Apple has started to give India the treatment it deserves with regard to product launch times and pricing. (iPad Mini).”

The iPad Mini has features similar to the regular iPad, but is a slimmer, more compact version of the latter.

“We have 8-10 units of the iPad Mini. The reason I feel that people will choose this one over the iPad is that it is easy to carry and convenient to operate. We have sold three pieces since the morning. We will order more according to the response we get,” said the store manager of a large-format electronics retailer.

priya.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 7, 2012)
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