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Apple Offers First Ever Buyback Scheme for iPhone 6s, 6s Plus

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Apple showcased its new pair of smartphones, iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, back in September and both the handsets made their way to India in October. Retail stores saw fans lining up in queues on the day of the launch, but according to some retailers the demand for both the smartphones has been comparatively low since last year. The primary reason is possibly the high pricing of the new duo. Apple is known to price its products higher than any other smartphone manufacturer but this year it raised the bar once again with the most affordable iPhone 6s model, sporting 16GB of storage, tagged with a price of Rs. 62,000. This is higher than what the pricing was last year when the iPhone 6 came out at Rs. 53,500, making India one of the most expensive country to buy the iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus.

The story is however is not the same everywhere as early sales of the 6s and the 6s Plus outside of India saw record-breaking numbers of 13 million iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units sold in just three days after the launch. The higher yield was not only due to the lower price, but also the newly announced iPhone upgrade program for US consumers where users can buy the new iPhones for $34 (Rs. 2,300 approx.) a month and upgrade to the latest iPhone every year.

The upgrade program has not made its way here but the official Apple products distributor in India, Ingram Micro, has announced a special buyback offer that could tempt users to upgrade to a new iPhone. The scheme offers up to Rs. 43,000 off if you bring in your old iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and exchange it for the new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. There are certain price range bands set for the older iPhones where the actual cost depends on the condition of the device being returned. The new scheme is expected to roll out all across the country and will be offered by select Apple stores and retail shops.

This is the first time ever Apple is offering a discount scheme months after the launch of its product. It is also the first of its kind buyback offer in the country where the company is closely monitoring and handling all the procedures. This was not the case earlier as buyback offers usually included indirect subsidies given to retailers as compensation, but this left the burden of taking ownership of the returned smartphones.

This gives a clear indication that Apple is very much concerned about the slow sales of its latest smartphones India. While the scheme could lure in some owners to trade in their old iPhones, it is difficult to say if there would be a spike in sales as only consumers who already own a previous version get benefits of the offer. There isn’t any confirmation if the buyback would include trading of smartphones from other brands, but if that is the case, it could be a game changing move.