Apple’s new platform to shop from got off today. Apple India’s online store with a full range of products being offered to customers from the Indian subcontinent was unveiled for the first time. The silicon valley tech company starts its first-ever online store in India before the festive season with the hope that the company will see a hike in demand and transactions during this time from the customers of the country.
The first-hand online store of the conglomerate brings you all the premium experiences that you can get in the Apple stores, to your doorstep. In a statement, the company also claimed that the products would be delivered by online team members who are ready to offer their expertise. They also say thet they will provide offers such as direct customer support, trade-ins or exchange offers for used smartphones and iPhones, student discounts, contactless delivery, and more.
Before this, the company sold its products in the country through third-party sellers. Although the products of the brand were available via online retail giants like Amazon and Flipkart, they were unable to provide these incentives to the customers. Due to this, Apple’s presence in the Indian market has always been a hit and miss. Chinese mobile making companies like Xiaomi and South Korean giants Samsung mainly lead the Indian market, with a small share in the hands of the iPhone makers.
According to a report by Candytech, the latest market share for Q1 2020 shows that Xiaomi is the “number one smartphone brand in India”, according to a number of units sold, with 30 percent market share. They are followed by Vivo, who also has a 17 percent market share. The South Korean based conglomerate Samsung stands in the third position, losing its second spot which they held for around two years, by having 16 percent of the market under their wing. The same report claims that other brands such as Apple, Lenovo, Motorola, LG, Google, Asus have less than 3% market share in India, individually.
Apple is looking to change all these in the coming years as they focus on the Indian market, realizing its potential. India is not only the country featuring a second highest population of the world, but also is the country with the second-largest smartphone market after China. According to reports, in 2019 158 million smartphones were shipped to India. Out of which, Chinese manufacturers shipped 113 Million (11.3 crores) mobiles.
Apple online store: what you get and don’t get
As you roll into the online Apple India Store you would be greeted by “Namaste” scrolling below which will unveil the several features that the company is offering to the native customers.
First and foremost, the feature that is mostly highlight is Apple’s direct customer support. While shopping from the online portal of Apple customers can now interact with online Apple specialists available to help with services like custom-configuring Macs to setting up new devices. You can also contact them for advice, or to learn about new products directly from Apple specialists. They would offer their expertise in both in English and Hindi, as said by Apple in a statement.
The company’s online portal also lets you trade your old phone for a new iPhone. The trade-in option gives you a certain estimated price for your old phone which will get discounted while you buy your brand new iPhone. In the trade-in option of the site, after answering the right answers for the questions asked about your old phone, they would offer up to ₹ 35,000 for your old phone, which can then be used to lower the price of your iPhone. The remaining value would have to be paid in full of EMI by the customer.
However, there is a major hitch in the process. While we tried the trade-in options, there are only a few options which the company would accept. The smartphones that can let you claim the trade-in feature are models of Samsung S10, S9, Note 9, Note 10, and Samsung A series. Other than this, OnePlus 6T, 7, and 7T are also accepted by the company. They also let you cash in your older iPhone models, although we could not find models prior to the iPhone 5s in the list.
The company says that the trade-in values will vary based on the condition, year, and configuration of your trade-in device and is computed on Maximum Retail Price. The company said in a statement, “You must be at least 18 years old to be eligible to trade-in. Not all devices are eligible. Trade-in values are conditional upon the received device matching the details you provided when the estimate was made and subsequent verification at collection. Apple reserves the right to refuse or limit the quantity of any device for any reason.”
Apple would also offer discounts to students. Not only this, but the company also says that students can now avail themselves of discounts on accessories and the company’s extended warranty program, AppleCare+. You will need to verify that you are a student by uploading your ID card picture or your education institutional email address with UNiDAYS to obtain yourself the discount. The offer is only for students, lecturers, and staff of several institutions across the globe. However, I came across an issue while trying out the feature, as the institution, I was trying to verify with (St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata) was not listed by the company.
Also, Apple accepts several modes of payment via its online portal. Payments can be executed with credit and debit cards, credit card EMI, RuPay, UPI, Net Banking, and credit card on delivery.
Apple is also offering 6 percent cashback up to ₹ 10,000 of the cart value on purchases made using HDFC Bank credit cards for a limited time. You can only avail of the offer if your cart value is of ₹20,900 or more. The offer stands till 16 October 2020.
The company also says all the delivery that would be made when you shop from the online store would be contactless, keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic situation. Deliveries would not require a signature from the customer and would be left at the doorstep to be accepted by the customer after only a verbal confirmation that can be done from a safe distance or even by a written signature.
The newly live Apple India Store also had ‘Today at Apple’ sessions under which you can schedule a free session with a specialist who can answer your queries and give you basic tips on the various Apple products. The company also says that during the festive season the company would let customers get signature gift wraps and personalized engravings on select products. According to the company, products like iPads and Apple Pencil can be engraved in English, whereas AirPods can be engraved in multiple languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, and more.
Visit the store: AppleIndiaOnlineStore