by Joe White
November 5, 2013
Apple's iPhone 5s has proven to be hugely popular in India, leaving retailers asking Apple to send over emergency shipments, according to a recent report. The news comes following confirmation from Indian carrier Reliance Communication that for the first time ever, Apple's new handsets, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, would be available on-contract at a subsidized price. In previous years, this hasn't been the case, and some even consider this to be one of several reasons why Apple's share of the Indian smartphone market is particularly low. Though we'd heard that India had seen impressive iPhone 5s sales, it now appears that the iPhone 5s (which, along with the iPhone 5c, went on sale in the country on Nov. 1) has entirely sold out. The news comes from The Times of India, which explains:
The rush for the latest iPhones, which were launched in India on November 1, has seen the costlier iPhone 5s model sold out across the country and retailers asking Apple for emergency replenishments, which are expected in the next two days, some of them said.However, as we noted in our recent edition of AppAdvice International, this doesn't necessarily mean that sales figures of the iPhone 5s in India are huge. Instead, it's more likely that supplies of the handset were constrained. The Times of India's article corroborates this point, noting that trade sources estimate the total number of iPhone 5s handsets supplied by Apple lie somewhere in the region of 6,000. Does this mean consumers in India are settling for the iPhone 5c, then? It seems not, the publication notes. Sanjay Karwa, chief executive officer of India's PlanetM Retail, told The Times of India that customers aren't willing to purchase an iPhone 5c instead of an iPhone 5s. One such customer said:
I went to buy the 16GB iPhone 5S. I have made several enquiries at retail stores as well as Airtel and Reliance outlets and am really frustrated as they say stocks are sold out and they aren't sure when they will get fresh stocksApple has reportedly "promised to rush fresh supplies" of the iPhone 5s to India, so hopefully more stock should be available soon. Given that India offers a large smartphone market that Apple has yet to make a dent in, it'll be interesting to see if the Cupertino, Calif. company's share increases over the course of the coming weeks and months. We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it. In the meantime, see: Amazon's "Alpha House" And "Betas" To Debut Later This Month, Spotify For iOS Updated With Songkick Touring Details, New Search Features And More, and Comcast Launches XFINITY TV Go For iOS, Offers Live Streaming Feature.