NEW DELHI: Ending months of speculations, Apple has brought a brand new, affordable second-generation iPhone SE during tough COVID-19 times and when the lockdown opens, the Rs 42,500 device will definitely find appeal with college-going crowd or teenagers in India who cannot spend an excessive amount of money to own the iPhone 11 series.
The price segment where the new iPhone SE has entered is piping hot with competitive devices from OnePlus, Samsung and Vivo and Apple -- which saw an excellent uptick with iPhone XR when it got cheaper in India - is definite that iPhone SE 2020 will find a solid response from those which wish to experience an iPhone but couldn't, to date, due to the high prices.
The truth is: Apple logged a massive over 55 per cent growth in iPhone shipments for the India market in January and February this year compared to the same period in 2019, riding on strong demand for iPhone 11 and other models, as per Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.
Packed with top-of-the-line hardware, the new iPhone SE has the potential to make much room for Apple in the aggressive Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000 segment, feel industry experts.
"This will definitely appeal to tons of Android mid-segment users who cannot afford a flagship iPhone. Also, this will really find traction is corporate and enterprise segment with Apple's positioning of privacy and security," Navkendar Singh, director of research, IDC India, told IANS.
The new iPhone SE still carries that very same look and style as from the iPhone models a few years back and lots of upgraders have moved to XR or 11 in past two years with their new design and a full-screen experience.
"I should certainly find volumes immediately when it's launched since this will be the most affordable new iPhone and cheapest way to enter Apple ecosystem," Singh added.
The Cupertino-based iPhone maker has seen a dramatic shift in its fortunes in India since mid-2019, with increased 'Make in India' manufacturing giving the impetus required for iPhones.
According to Hanish Bhatia, Senior Analyst, Devices & Ecosystem at Counterpoint Research, Apple's latest A13 bionic chipset, IP67 rating and wireless charging feature are some of the key highlights of the new device.
"The aspirational value of the Apple brand remains high in India, but traditionally consumers tend to lean towards buying a handset with higher specifications. The new iPhone SE shall further consolidate Apple's position in the premium segment," said Bhatia.
Although lockdown, alongside other factors, will impact some sections of the Indian economy, the social distancing period is additionally likely to create some demand vacuum which can cause stronger demand for a short period in the coming days.
"Consumers are going to be excited to get hands-on experience of the new device," Bhatia added.
The move is seen as a really strategic one to achieve a foothold in important emerging markets like India, which is a very value-conscious market.
"This price point is incredibly aggressive from Apple, considering that Apple found success in India in 2019 in this segment. Also, with the expected aggressive marketing and demand generation initiatives expected by the brands and platforms, once the lockdown is lifted, should really help Apple to achieve a foothold in the mid-premium segment of the market, where the competition is intensifying," elaborated Singh from IDC.
Apple at the same time is also continuously ramping up its manufacturing capabilities through its partners in India