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Sales of Apple iPhones Will Pick up in India with Onset of Festive Season: Experts

The momentum will come "at the back of cashbacks, buyback offers and deep discounting, especially on etailer platform during the 'Big Billion Day Sale' on Flipkart and 'The Great Indian Festival' on Amazon lined up from October 10 onwards

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Apple
Apple lowers Q1 revenue guidance on slow iPhone sales.

The sales of Apple iPhones including the newly-launched premium iPhone Xs and XS Max will pick up in India with the country entering the grand festive season from October 10, industry experts said on Wednesday.

Apple brought its much-awaited line-up of iPhones to India on September 28.

iPhone XS with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage costs Rs 99,900; 4GB and 256GB variant is priced at Rs 114,900 and the 4GB with 512GB variant will come for Rs 134,900.

“We don’t have data yet but I think demand will be spread as gap between festive season and new iPhone launches is definitely there,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

“The Indian consumers will look for all the options and might end up purchasing iPhones near the festive season, beginning with the auspicious period of Navratri festival from October 10,” Pathak noted.

Apple
A demonstration of the newly released Apple products is seen following the product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, U.S. Sept. 12, 2018. (VOA)

For an Indian smartphone user, carrying an iPhone has always been a style statement, irrespective of the price, and those who are in the Apple ecosystem will generate demand for the new iPhones, sooner or later.

Apple has also slashed prices of old-generation iPhones in India.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research (CMR), Apple is aware of the brand pull that iPhone has for aspirational India and that’s why they have slashed prices for old-generation iPhones.

“While there would be a slight upstick for old iPhone sales, during and beyond the festive season, we believe they would be up for tough competition from other smartphone brands,” Ram told IANS.

Apple is set to announce its fiscal fourth quarter results on November 1 and will reveal iPhones sales globally.

Apple
An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

Apple posted a revenue of $53.3 billion in its fiscal third quarter — an increase of 17 per cent from the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 60 per cent of the quarter’s revenue.

“With global warranty and comparative high price in India, people may end up buying new iPhones from somewhere else,” added Pathak.

According to Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, as per previous trends, the major demand is for the old model line-up with deep discounts and cash-back offers largely driven by e-tailers which accounts for more than 50 per cent of overall Apple volumes.

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“If Apple decides to further lower the pricing of previous line-up like iPhone 7, 8 and X, as the new models hit the market, there might be some action in the coming quarters.

The momentum will come “at the back of cashbacks, buyback offers and deep discounting, especially on etailer platform during the ‘Big Billion Day Sale’ on Flipkart and ‘The Great Indian Festival’ on Amazon lined up from October 10 onwards,” Joshi told IANS. (IANS)

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The Rafale Deal: Corporate Rivalry Impacting National Interest

A deeper look found a correlation between the end of Shourie's dreams of being appointed Union Finance Minister and the beginning of his tirade against the Prime Minister on one issue or the other.

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been obtuse in accusing the Congress of becoming a pawn in corporate rivalry. She made the comments during a recent seminar on 'India's strategic interest in the context of the Rafale deal'.Pixabay

A recent European Union intelligence sharing exercise with India has revealed that Lockheed Martin, the US-headquartered company which manufactures the F-16 fighter jets, has been up to mischief mongering on the Rafale issue.

The Rafale jets, which India wants, is manufactured by the French aerospace company Dassault Aviation, a rival of Lockheed Martin.

That Lockheed Martin could be working in the shadows to sour the Rafale deal for India so that it could move in with its own deal was validated when Vivek Lall, Lockheed Martin’s high-profile head of strategy and India operations, said that the company was in the process of finalising the sale of 200 fighters to India.

During the UPA regime, the government had signed an MoU for 126 Rafale fighter jets to replenish a major shortcoming in air defence preparedness because the Indian Air Force did not have quality fighter jets. When the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, this deal was revised and an inter-government deal was struck to receive 36 fully-loaded Rafale jets. The controversy now raging in India is related to the pricing for the fighters negotiated by the NDA.

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been obtuse in accusing the Congress of becoming a pawn in corporate rivalry. She made the comments during a recent seminar on ‘India’s strategic interest in the context of the Rafale deal’. Pixabay

In December when the Rafale case came before the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi observed that processes were generally followed over the procurement. He also noted that the controversy had been triggered by comments by former French President Francois Hollande over the selection of the offset partner and that mere comments could not form the basis for a probe.

However, this has not prevented the Rafale purchase controversy from becoming a high-octane political battle between the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Repeatedly over the past few months and more stridently now in the lead-up to the Lok Sabha elections, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has led a no-holds barred attack on the government and the Prime Minister specifically on the issue. From the earlier public disinterest on the controversy, it is now now getting some traction — the Congress party believes this could be possible because it has relentlessly raised the matter at all public forums.

Bringing up the case of the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was said to be part of the orhestrated plan to present the case of the American companies while also appearing nationalistic. In the government’s estimate, HAL’s record is abysmal and it cannot be given a big responsibility like building fighter jets — more so in the light of the safety record of MiG fighters purchased from Russia and made under licence from HAL.

The BJP-led government at the Centre believes — and it is certain it has evidence of this — that the Congress party is doing this as it has become a party to corporate rivalry between the US and French aerospace companies. For the record, Lockheed Martin is believed to have found a sympathetic ally in another US aerospace major, Boeing, which manufactures the F-18. Dassault has another rival in French manufacturer Airbus Industrie, which is associated with BAE for the manufacture of the Eurofighter. It is also angling for a fighter jet contract with India.

Rahul Gandhi’s attacks on the government over the Rafale issue started after his visit to the US in August 2017 when he met several defence lobbyists, CEOs of US defence companies and Pentagon officials.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been obtuse in accusing the Congress of becoming a pawn in corporate rivalry. She made the comments during a recent seminar on ‘India’s strategic interest in the context of the Rafale deal’.

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Contrary to popular perception, the Trump administration is said to be extremely unhappy with India because the NDA government under Modi has been successful in building strong relationships with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Pixabay

The government’s efforts to trace the footprints of the dramatis personae at the forefront of the campaign to target the government over the Rafale deal has produced surprising results. It has found what it believes are eye-opening linkages between Prashant Bhushan, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie — who filed a PIL in the Supreme Court accusing the Prime Minister of corruption in the deal — and arms dealers and defence manufacturers. At least in one case, the linkages show deep connections between members of Shourie’s family with aerospace companies, arms dealers and defence lobbies.

A deeper look found a correlation between the end of Shourie’s dreams of being appointed Union Finance Minister and the beginning of his tirade against the Prime Minister on one issue or the other.

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The government is also aware of the links between a top BJP leader’s son-in-law and a French manufacturer. The son-in-law is said to be advising Rahul Gandhi and is believed to be making government documents available to him for the campaign against Rafale.

Lockheed Martin’s alleged actions to work the political ecosystem to pull down the Rafale procurement deal also has a larger strategic context. Contrary to popular perception, the Trump administration is said to be extremely unhappy with India because the NDA government under Modi has been successful in building strong relationships with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.  (IANS)