In a world where technology constantly evolves, Apple enthusiasts eagerly awaited the release of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, the excitement was soon accompanied by shock as some offline retailers began charging a hefty premium of Rs 20,000 over the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MRP). This unexpected price surge has left consumers perplexed and frustrated, leading us to explore the reasons behind it in this article.
Unprecedented Demand for iPhone 15 Pro Max
The iPhone 15 Pro Max, with its remarkable features, has garnered unprecedented demand in India. The allure of its titanium frame and the innovative action button have propelled the Pro models into the limelight, resulting in a four-fold increase in demand compared to the standard iPhone 15.
Apple’s Official Sales Channels in India
To understand the price surge better, it’s crucial to recognize Apple’s official sales channels in India. Apple primarily sells its iPhones through the following avenues:
1. Apple Online Store (Apple.com): Apple’s official online store.
2. Apple Exclusive Offline Stores (Mumbai and Delhi): Flagship stores offering a premium retail experience.
3. Apple Official Resellers (Unicorn, Aptronix, Imagine Online, etc.): Authorized third-party retailers.
Despite these official channels, smaller retail shops have joined the fray by importing iPhones from overseas markets like Dubai, the USA, and Japan, further diversifying the options for consumers.
Price Surge in Offline Retail
According to reports from News18 Tech, offline retail stores in India are demanding additional sums ranging from Rs 6,000 to a staggering Rs 20,000 for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The exact premium varies based on factors such as storage capacity and color preferences.
For instance, a retailer in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, is selling the iPhone 15 Pro Max 256GB Titanium Blue for Rs 1,51,000, which is Rs 6,000 higher than the official MRP of Rs 1,44,990 for the same model in India. Meanwhile, a shop in Thane, Mumbai, is allegedly asking for Rs 2,32,000 for the 1TB variant of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which exceeds the official MRP of Rs 1,99,900 by Rs 32,000.
Natural Titanium color variant seems to be the most sought after, commanding an extra premium of at least Rs 10,000 over the MRP in retail markets.
Supply Chain Challenges
While the price surge is a cause for concern, it’s important to note that Apple is grappling with production challenges for the Pro models. Limited manufacturing capacity in China, a shortage of 3nm-based A17 Pro chips from TSMC, and the complexities of developing the titanium frame have all contributed to the shortage of iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in global markets.
Unethical Business Practices
However, the issue isn’t limited to price hikes alone. Since the launch on September 22, Apple users have reported unethical business practices by Apple’s Official Resellers in India. For instance, Unicorn Store, a prominent official Apple reseller, has been criticized for coercing customers into purchasing screen protectors and back covers along with the iPhone 15 Pro. Refusal to comply has resulted in canceled pre-orders.
In another shocking incident, a Croma Store allegedly forced a customer to buy Apple Care+ alongside their iPhone 15 Pro, even resorting to threats of order cancellation. Matters escalated to a physical altercation between the customer and the shopkeeper.
The soaring demand for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max has led to various malpractices and black-market activities in India. Consumers now face a difficult choice: either wait nearly two months for the official Apple release or succumb to the exorbitant demands of opportunistic retailers. Fortunately, Apple is expected to boost production of the Pro models by November, providing some relief to eager buyers. Until then, it’s crucial to resist the allure of the black market and adhere to Apple’s official sales channels for a fair and ethical purchase.
1. Why are some offline stores charging extra for the iPhone 15 Pro Max?
Some retailers are capitalizing on the high demand for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, charging premiums due to limited availability and consumer preferences.
2. Is it worth buying from unofficial retailers at a higher price?
It’s advisable to wait for the official release or use Apple’s authorized sales channels to ensure product authenticity and fair pricing.
3. What is causing the shortage of iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models?
Factors such as limited manufacturing capacity, chip shortages, and the complexity of the titanium frame production have contributed to the shortage.
4. Are there any alternatives to purchasing from Apple’s official channels?
While smaller retailers may offer iPhones from overseas markets, consumers should be cautious of potential price markups and ethical concerns.
5. When can consumers expect improved availability of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max?
Apple is expected to increase production by November, which should lead to improved availability in the market.