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Apple Offers 2-week Trial Run On iPhones; Are They Getting Desperate?

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When they ignore you, they ignore you completely and when they woo you, they woo you hard. For years, during its initial run, Apple did not care about selling iPhones in India. It is a fact that cannot be ignored by them as well. However, as the US market gets saturated and Indian users warm up to smartphones, Apple cannot do that anymore.

Since iPhone 4, we are seeing faster launches in India, better schemes and offers with the phones and in general more love by the fruit company. Of course, all this doesn’t change one fact- iPhone still costs more than most computers and many bikes in the market.

Where a person can buy a great Android phone (Nexus anyone!) at half the price, it is difficult for Apple to woo its customers in a country where it doesn’t have the first mover advantage. Majority of Indians have come to adopt Android as their phone OS and are now quite comfortable using it.

Also, until iPhone 5S, there was no scheme in India like in the US, where a person could buy an iPhone at a subsidized cost.

These issues aside, there is little doubt that iPhone is one of the best phones in the market and Apple is really confident that once someone has had the Apple experience, they will become a regular customer.

For this, they have launched a scheme in India where they have decided to lease the phone to users to use it for two weeks and if they do not like it, they can simply return it, no questions asked.

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Honestly, if not for some serious fine print, I could see a bigger line in the stores to get the iPhone than a temple.

Apple 2 Week Trial Terms

  1. You pay the whole price upfront (duh!). This will check the loafers who are not really serious about the phone or cannot afford it.
  2. A Rs. 1000 fee has to be paid for the trial. This makes it more like a lease than a trial. I can’t see this as anything but a way for the sellers to make a little money out of the whole event. In two weeks, they get something and the phone can be sold again (or rented). In fact, if a phone is rented say five times, then in two and half months that phone has made Rs. 5000 and can still be sold as a new phone.
  3. Only unscratched phones with complete accessories and the box will be taken back. While this is an obvious one, because there are no strict guidelines to what constitutes scratchy, it is the most scary one as well. My guess is, more than one person will end up owning an iPhone against their will because of this.
  4. You get your money back in a few days by money transfer or cheque (and not upfront when you return the phone).

A few selected premium reseller stores have this offer running like- Aptronix, Imagine, Nyasa, iStore by Reliance Digital, Maple and Unicorn.

Only time will tell if this tactic gets Apple real users. But it definitely smells of desperation.

Do you think Apple is getting too desperate with these kind of offers. I for one have never heard about such trial offers of mobile phones. Have you?

Will you go for this trial?

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