At Rs 64,000 a pop, the base model of iPhone 8 in India is indeed prohibitively priced. Taking note of the matter and to boost Jio’s data sales and help iPhone-maker Apple expand in India, Reliance Industries cracked open a buyback option for its customers on Friday wherein the company will buy back iPhone 8, 8 plus and iPhone X models after a year’s usage at 70% of their value. As the California-based Apple is seeing growth taper in its home market and China, India’s burgeoning smartphone population is where company CEO Tim Cook is betting big. After all, the smartphone population in the country is estimated to grow from 251.79 million in 2016 to 299.24 million this year, and all the way up to 422.5 million by 2022, say analysts. So far, the high cost of its handsets has kept the aspirational smartphone out of reach of millions of Indians.
It is in this light that Jio’s launch of the latest iPhones in India gains credence. On Friday, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani’s son Akash Ambani showcased the phones, declaring that the buyback offer would be available across all the three latest models. The offer will be available to Jio customers who buy the iPhone and subscribe to its Rs 799 monthly package for 12 months. But the cashback can only be redeemed on Reliance products at the company’s outlets.
As of now, the company is offering iPhone 8 and 8 plus as successors to last year’s iPhone 7 and 7 plus via both online and offline channels. However, iPhone X is slated to go on sale on November 3 and pre-booking will open on October 27.
Apple announced that the 64 GB and 256 GB variants of the iPhone 8 will cost Rs 64,000 and Rs 77,000, respectively. Similarly, the iPhone 8 Plus 64 GB is priced at Rs 73,000, while the 256 GB variant will cost Rs 86,000. As Cook participated in the event over a video call in the presence of Mukesh Ambani, Akash Ambani said, “The partnership between Apple and Jio has revolutionised the industry because both think customer first.”
Since this is the first time an Indian telecom operator is offering such a substantial cashback, the move could help boost Apple’s market share in India from a paltry 3%, while Reliance Jio could bag loyalty points from Apple aficionados.