Finally! Apple India’s Official Online Store is open today!
In a press release dated September 17th of 2020, Apple India announced the opening of official online store in India.
Customers in India will be able to shop Apple’s full range of products, and get expert advice and support from Apple Specialists both in English and Hindi.
It is interesting for two main reasons. One, India being a land of villages, had a lot of Apple fans from small cities, towns and villages. I, myself being one of those, who always missed this opportunity to buy Apple products with convenience. Although, we had a few online retailers selling Apple products for quite some time now but either the process was not smooth or availability was a major issue. There were other issues related to trust, delivery of products etc. Today owing to boom in online businesses during last decade and an additional boost in sales owing to unfortunate Virus, the networks of courier services and package delivery systems in India as expanded quite a bit. As of today, you would not find any person even in remote parts of India, not purchasing products online, it has not happened overnight but gradually only.
Secondly, throughout India, Apple fans and users, always missed this opportunity to be able to configure things like they saw on US version of Apple’s website for the products they wanted. Before the trend of soldered RAMs, thing were still possible in some big cities of India, through some reliable third party sellers but now things are different. You have to buy it pre-configured and there is not much potential for an upgrade later on. So, for example if you wanted a Macbook Air with 16GB of RAM, it was not possible in India at all regardless of the city you were in. But now, you just visit Apple Store Online and order one and get it delivered right to your home. Is not it cool? The money and time you save by not visiting to the city for purchasing an Apple product from a reseller is a great mileage.
Highlights of Apple Store Online in India
Apple’s brick-and-mortar Stores around the globe have always been an epitome of excellence and elegance in realm of electronics stores. Apple has brought the same level of experience and beauty to their stores online. Apple India’s online store inherits the same classic design from abroad. It is just so appealing to the eyes and minimal or rather focused. But there are always times when need assistance or help. Apple calls them Apple Specialists, they are a click away. You get to call or chat with a Specialist to help you with any queries that you have regarding a purchase.
So, convenience of custom-configuring your Mac systems like iMacs or Macbooks when clubbed with robust Shopping Assistance qualifies official online store the perfect destination to shop for Apple products. The help extends from configuration to setting up new devices. The kind of advice, guidance your receive help you learn new things about less known products with verifiable information directly from Apple in a language of your choice, that is Hindi or English.
Free, Safer Delivery
Apple cares for environment, its users and their own staff. Online Store is offering free of cost delivery for any new products that you purchase. Also, all the products are currently shipped with no-cost delivery.
Ways to Buy
Apple has not left out any of possible payment options for its users and purchasers in India. You can buy new Apple products from their online store with credit and debit card, credit card EMI, RuPay, UPI, Net Banking and credit card on delivery. Also, if you are buying as a university student, you are eligible for additional discounts as well. This discounted pricing is available for university students, their parents, lecturers and staff.
You can choose to pay using low monthly installments with EMI option using your favorite or current Credit Card from a bank of your choice or enjoy the savings benefit of No Cost EMI option, which is exclusively available with HDFC Bank Credit Cards for a term of 6 months right now. Further, there is a room for cashback offers too.
Potential buyers can also save money with limited time cashback offer from HDFC Bank in India. HDFC Bank has participated in Apple India’s cashback scheme and is offering up to 6 percent cashback on purchase price of new Apple products with an upper limit of 10,000 INR per card.
Overall, Apple has done a good job with payment options and availability of easy financing deals to help consumers some money on new Apple products that wish to buy.
Apple Trade In
Trade-in is not completely new to Indian online buyers as a lot of other smart-phone companies and other online retailers are already offering it for a couple of years now. Just that it is called exchange instead of trade-in. Also, I believe, Apple’s trade-in partners are probably the same as other premium smartphone brands in India.
Apple is calling it a formula to turn any old Apple or Android smart-phone into a new iPhone. So you can turn the device you have into the one you want, as Apple calls it.
While buying a new iPhone, you select trade-in, answer a couple of on-screen questions regarding brand, model and condition of your old smartphone and a decent trade-in value is offered to you instantly against the price of a new iPhone. Other offers like cashback and No Cost EMI still applies.
I tried to Trade-In my OnePlus 5 device with 128GB of storage and was offered a store credit value of ₹6,045 instantly against the purchase of new iPhone SE 2020. My new iPhone 2020 base variant price instantly came down to ₹36,455 with trade-in.
It is not the highest that you would get on other platforms but still decent enough if you are looking to exchange your current phone to get a new iPhone at a lower price. Basically, I would be getting over 20% of retail price invested in purchasing OnePlus 5 smart-phone, three years ago.
A step by step Trade-In guide by Apple India is available here. It not only helps you understand the whole process from getting Instant Credit to handling data before handling over the phone and other information on how to go about it.
It is an easy door step delivery and pick up process without you having to go any where.
Configure to Order
It is one of the primary reason why most of us were waiting for Apple to open an official store online or offline. Now, we get to configure our Macs with more RAM, storage and graphics. Configure your Mac as you desire depending on your need. For instance a busy Youtuber or a content creator who loves to travel, can now configure Macbook Pro with the best graphics option available to increase productivity and save time every day. It is an essential option as we do not have the luxury anymore to upgrade RAM or storage as most of these components are now soldered on to the main board itself.
When you buy certain Apple products from their online store in India, you receive a free 1:1 online session with a Specialist to help you with topics you want from intermediate to expert or pro level. It is a great way to explore potential of your Apple product and to figure out things you need help with. An Apple specialist will help you configure things the right way and also answer your questions, if any. This personal session is completely free, online and can be scheduled at a any desirable time frame. You will receive an invitation link to schedule a personal session with Apple Specialist once your product ships.
It is one of the things that most Indian Apple users have missed owing to lack of awareness or transparency from authorized resellers about the program. AppleCare+ simply extends your warranty with up to 2 years of technical support and accidental damage cover. If you analyze this program with damage coverage, tech support that you receive, it is not a bad deal at all. Cost of repair can get high for basic hardware issues when your device goes out of warranty. It is a purely service product and does not include theft or loss of device.
AppleCare+ has different options for different Apple products.
For a new Mac, you can extend your coverage to 3 years from your AppleCare+ purchase date including one year of limited warranty that it already comes with. You get two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months, each subject to a service fee of ₹8,900 for screen damage or external enclosure damage, or ₹25,900 for other damage. Even your battery, accessories like power adapter are covered therein. AppleCare+ for base variant of new 13-inch Macbook Pro is available at 24,900 INR only.
For iPhones, you can extend your original warranty to 2 years from your AppleCare+ purchase date. You also you get two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months. Each incident is subject to a service fee of ₹2,500 for screen damage, or ₹8,900 for any other damage. Other than your iPhone’s battery, earphones and accessories are also covered. AppleCare+ is available at a nominal price of, ₹16,900 only for the base variant of iPhone 11.
I believe it is an add-on service product that we all should consider while buying an Apple product. Things do break and then expensive repair costs hurt a lot, especially for mobile devices like iPhone or iPad.
India is going Digital and Apple wants a good bite of the pie. Online store is a good place for Apple consumers in India. It is something that a lot of Apple users wanted for a very long time. It is great to see change happening around us. That being so, India is money minded and we do check mileage before power. Apple is certainly trying their level best to create a balance between both.
Refurbished Apple products is another good thing for Indian Apple users in long run. One or two years down the line, Indian users with budget constraints especially students can rely on refurbished Apple products to enjoy the same hardware at a much lower or discounted price with same one year limited warranty that you get with a new Apple product. It would be interesting to find refurbished Apple products on their online store very soon. I am totally hopeful and positive about it. Refurbishing and recycling is something that I always strongly support.
It is not adequate. There is more work to be done in India by Apple. For starters, users are tired of paying heavily taxes in comparison with US consumers. It is not just me. According to a report by MoneyControl, a lot of Apple fans and pro users on Twitter are already wrote to Mr Tim Cook to keep the pricing low immediately after their press release on 17th of September regarding opening of the online store.
If Apple somehow makes it possible to get a rebate for all users with local sourcing of parts in its products, it can certainly win a lot more hearts. Opening of online store with full range of products in India in itself is an unprecedented move from Apple.