Fierce competition in the country's smartphone market is forcing leading mobile handset makers to come up with easy EMI options, cashback offers and discounts to woo customers.
Paybacks for used smartphones are also being thrown as a sweetener to get consumers to switch to new handsets.
Discounts are being showered on payments through credit cards and other gateways as the country of over 900 million mobile users is heading to become the third-largest smartphone market by 2017.
Apple Inc, which started the trend at the end of 2012 with iPhone 4 - a device that it launched in 2010 - has helped it pick up sales but it has now been hijacked by other handsets leaders of the Indian market like Korean electronics giant Samsung, which has a market share of 43 per cent.
After launching the EMI scheme, Samsung is now offering 15 per cent cashback on its flagship Galaxy range.
Samsung vice-president (mobile) Asim Warsi says: "The strong success that we are garnering with zero per cent finance-based offers encouraged us to offer the 15 per cent cash back offer with Standard Chartered and ICICI Bank."
The offer will be valid on Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Grand, Galaxy Tab2 as well as Galaxy Camera, he added.
For Samsung, the EMI offer helped it more than double its finance-linked sales in the January-March period.
Apple saw a strong uptake in the Indian market following the introduction of its EMI scheme. After discontinuing the scheme, Apple is now offering iPhone 4 for less than Rs 20,000 while it sold it at Rs 26,500 with an EMI option. But even at that discounted price, Apple is still well above low-end competitors in India that are currently dominating sales.
Apple could release a new iPhone with a lower price to address the Indian market.
Erstwhile smartphone leader Nokia has set its sights on weak rival BlackBerry. The Finnish company is betting that its partnership with Microsoft Corp will help it win business users targeting BlackBerry's stronghold.
Nokia is covering a broad price range with Lumia devices.
Same is with Blackberry and HTC. HTC has, cut its prices by almost 20-25 per cent in some mid-segment smartphones ranging between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000.
Meanwhile, Samsung and Apple are facing tough competition by a couple of aggressive local competitors like Bangalore-based Karbonn Mobiles and Gurgaon-based Micromax Informatics.
Industry sources say these companies are scoring over Apple and Samsung due to their lower prices. Karbonn smartphones start from Rs 3,599 and Micromax's from Rs 3,999, iPhone 4 is available for Rs 26,500 and Samsung's Galaxy Y Duos Lite Rs 6,110.
OFFERS FOR SMARTPHONESAPPLE:
It is offering EMI options besides discounts of up to Rs 7,000 for old smartphones.
It also has 5% cashback offer for customers who transact payments for buying iPhone through some credit card companiesSAMSUNG:
It is offering cashback of 15% and other discounts through credit cards. Some older models are being sold cheap with hefty discounts to clear the inventoryBLACKBERRY:
It also has EMI options, cashback and discounts through credit card and sellersNOKIA:
It is offering its Lumia high-end smartphones on EMIs, cashback and discounts through credit cards and other payment gateways. It is offering over 28% discounts on some smartphones through eBay portal
In association with Mail Today