NEW DELHI: Apple has not launched the iPhone 5S or 5C in India. But you can still buy one. The catch: You have to shell out big bucks for these devices. To be precise, the asking rate for the basic model of the iPhone 5S is between Rs 65,000 and Rs 1,00,000, depending on who you ask, and in which city.
The iPhone 5C is difficult to find as dealers in these grey markets say that there is no demand for it, but it can be bought on websites like eBay for around Rs 55,000. The devices are factory-unlocked, which means you don’t get official warranty. The unlocked version of the 16GB iPhone 5S costs $649 (around Rs 40,000) in the US, while the iPhone 5C costs $549 (around Rs 34,000).
commanded premium prices in grey markets like Gaffar Market in Delhi, and Heera Panna and Alfa in Mumbai, largely because these devices are officially rolled out in the country several months after their international launch.
Apple is considered a premium brand and people who look at it as a status symbol are willing to pay exorbitant prices for bragging rights of being the first to own the new iPhone models before anyone else does. But this time the prices are touching a new high, particular for the gold-coloured iPhone 5S model.
“There is a huge demand for the champagne-coloured iPhone 5S. I just sold a piece with 16GB storage to a person in Patna for Rs 1,08,000 through eBay,” said a Delhi-based dealer, on the condition of anonymity. He added that he had one more unit of the same colour, “but it is the 64GB model and is at an asking price of Rs 1,70,000”. “iPhone 5S in white or space grey is cheaper. I can give you the 64GB model for Rs 1,30,000,” he said.
The rates outside Delhi are less, but not by much. A Hyderabad-based phone dealer, who also maintains an e-commerce website called Lets-Go-Digital, said that he was selling 16GB iPhone 5S in the coveted gold colour at Rs 1,05,000. The iPhone 5S in grey was available at Rs 77,000.
In Mumbai, Manish Khatri, who has a phone store, but doesn’t sell phones without an official warranty, said the price of iPhone 5S is between Rs 65,000 and Rs 75,000 for the 16GB model in the city’s grey market. However, the gold-coloured device costs around Rs 85,000. Staggered launches of the iPhones have created thriving grey markets for the devices across the world. Every time Apple introduces a new iPhone, grey market dealers in countries like India, Russia, China and Brazil make a killing. In India, the iPhones are usually brought from Hong Kong or Australia, a dealer told TOI.
If you cannot spend this kind of money on a phone and yet want an iPhone, your only option is to wait. “Even in the grey market, prices come down with each passing day. Initially, iPhone 5S was selling for nearly Rs 1 lakh in Mumbai,” Khatri said.
Several retailers told TOI that the official launch of iPhone 5S and 5C was expected in the third or fourth week of October. While the price for iPhone 5C is likely to be around Rs 40,000, the iPhone 5S may cost a bit more than Rs 50,000. Apple will not sell the device in gold colour at any premium, though given the demand for this particular model, its availability may not be very good.
source : Times of India