Apple iPhone 4 for Rs 19,500?

 Nidhi Singal        Last Updated: April 16, 2013  | 18:41 IST

An August 2011 model BlackBerry Curve 9320 got us Rs 7,000 off on the purchase of a brand new Apple iPhone 4. A newer and costlier phone would have got us an even better deal. This is Apple's aggressive new 'Buy Back' scheme launched across various stores in NCR. By exchanging an old smartphone , you can now buy an iPhone 4 for just Rs 19,500.

As per the scheme, all smartphones, even brands like Micromax, Lava and Karbonn, can get you a minimum Rs 7,000 off on the purchase of the iPhone 4 model. All the customer needs to do is fill a Buy Back form and pay the remaining amount through card. Apple's EMI scheme is available along with the new Buy Back offer.

The offer started late last week and has already started pushing up the sales of Apple's 2010 model. Even today Apple has splashed front page ads in some dailies.

However, there was confusion among the retailers with FutureWorld, a top retailer in Connaught Place, saying they knew nothing about the scheme on Friday. Later, they said the offer was applicable only to premium models of the top brands and that too under warranty. Other like iNvent in PitamPura said the ad had got it wrong and Rs 7,000 was the maximum discount. By Monday, the air had cleared and stores had started accepting all smartphones, saying better units could even fetch more that Rs 10,000.

While Apple refused to comment, retailers said it was up to them to decide how much discount must be offered on incoming models. Naved Chaudhary, Head Marketing (Apple iPhone), Ingram Micro, one of the distributors for India, said he was not authorised to speak to media regarding any iPhone communication.

Of late Apple has been really aggressive in pushing the sales of iPhone in India with innovative marketing methods. They first launched the EMI schemes, which has not been followed up by the Buy Back offer. Incidentally, Samsung has responded by offering an EMI scheme of its own.

Apple did not even make it to IDC list of Top Five India Smartphone Vendor Ranked by unit shipments for Q4 2012, but the report said: "Apple's India shipments saw a sudden surge this quarter, sending it to the second spot in terms of revenue in the overall smartphone market. The surge in shipments can be attributed to the channel restructuring and the launch of iPhone 5 in 2012 Q4. With the newly appointed national distributors - Redington and Ingram Micro, Apple reached out to a consumer base bigger than ever before." This new scheme is only bound to push up numbers, especially among those looking to upgrade old smartphones.

With so much focus and action from Apple around the iPhone 4, 4S and 5, it is likely that for the next version of the iPhone, India might be a priority country for Apple. In contrast to earlier practice, India had climbed the ladder as the iPhone 5 was launched in India in the third phase of the global launch by Apple.

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