It seems that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not going to leave a single stone unturned, and the Cupertino-based company is going to introduce the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C with a bang in India. The company has signed a deal with Reliance Communications (RCom), and as per the deal, Apple will be offering the 16GB versions of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C for free on a two-year contract. This is similar to how it works in countries like the U.S. and U.K., but this is the first time that any high-end smartphone is being offered as a subsidy in India.
Apple has been pushing network operators
There were reports that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been pushing network operators for this for a long time, but because of the fear that subscribers will break the contract by unlocking the phone and using it on other networks, or resell it in the grey market, network operators were not keen to adopt this model – until now.
As per BGR, RCom will be offering unlimited voice calls, SMS and 3G data for a monthly fee ranging between Rs 2,500(US$42) and Rs 2,800(US$49). Users will need to pay a downpayment of Rs 11,600 for the 32GB variant of iPhone 5C, Rs 10,992 for 32GB variant of iPhone 5S and Rs 19,992 for iPhone 5S 64GB variants. The 16GB variant of the 5S and 5C doesn’t require any downpayment at all. Once a subscriber has signed the deal, he’ll be locked to RCom’s network under a two-year contract.
RCom will not suffer losses
RCom also has an agreement with leading credit card issuers who will credit the monthly payment from the user’s credit card account. This ensures that RCom will not suffer losses even if the subscriber unlocks the device. Ironically, only one-fifth of the total population in India appears to have a credit card. The offer surely sounds enticing but will users in India be able to take advantage of this offer without a credit card? That remains to be seen.