Apple Partners with India’s Flipkart Ahead of iPhone 7 Launch

Just ahead of the iPhone 7 launch in India, Apple has partnered with Flipkart, the country’s largest e-commerce website, a move that hints at fewer ‘discounts’ on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this year, Mashable reports. Apple clearly wants to control the pricing of its products in the region, since this is the first time Flipkart will directly source inventory from Apple’s distribution channel in India.

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Currently, Apple only sells its products in India through a network of distributors and authorized resellers. Unlike Canada and other markets, where one can buy Apple products directly from the company’s website, buyers in India are directed to third-party retail stores as Apple does not have the license to sell products directly.

Flipkart has so far been relying on third-party retailers for selling Apple products via its marketplace, which has allowed it to offer heavy discounts on Apple products to match rivals like Amazon India.

“Partnering with Flipkart means Apple will have a better control on pricing unlike what happened last year when pricing for Apple products across leading ecommerce players was largely unstable. This might also be a good move for Flipkart from value perspective when whole focus has been shifted from GMV lately,” Tarun Pathak, Senior Telecom analyst with marketing research firm Counterpoint Research told Mashable India. 

Though Flipkart might lose on those customers who are looking to purchase an iPhone at discounted prices, the company will get two things that its rivals won’t — better supply chain and marketing support from Apple. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will launch in India on Oct. 7, and they are likely to be in short supply during the first few weeks. 

iPhone 7 pricing in India will start at Rs 60,000 ($900), whereas the base iPhone 7 Plus model will start at Rs 72,000 ($1,080).