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Apple unveils new iPhone 11: Are people spending money to buy the same phone again?

Apple unveiled iPhone 11, iPhone 11 pro & iPhone 11 Pro Max this week. While iPhone 11 is priced at Rs 65,000, the other two models cost nearly Rs 1 lakh.

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Apple unveiled iPhone 11, iPhone 11 pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max this week. While iPhone 11 is priced at Rs 65,000, the other two models cost nearly Rs 1 lakh. These phones come with longer battery life and advanced cameras.

ThePrint asks: Apple unveils new iPhone 11: Are people spending money to buy the same phone again?

An iPhone works beautifully, some of us are too stubborn to admit it

Regina Mihindukulasuriya
Senior Correspondent, ThePrint

No one is spending too much money on any phone, iPhone or otherwise. The smartphone market now survives on monthly instalments plans.

So, it doesn’t matter if you’re an Apple fan looking to dutifully upgrade your phone, or an Apple sceptic, who thinks the new iPhone is nothing but old wine in a new bottle.

If you are interested in trying out the new phone, you may do so without paying a bomb, thanks to monthly instalments.

While doing a story on super-expensive iPhones, one seller in Surat told me that 70-80 per cent of all customers (includes non-iPhone users too) buy phones through monthly instalments. How else, he said, can an auto driver afford a phone worth Rs 30,000-Rs 50,000.

It’s the same in the US too. When Apple revealed its pricing for the new iPhones in the US, the company representative said they were aware that users like the monthly payment option and that’s why they have introduced monthly payment plans (varying rates for the three new iPhones).

Do Indians want to own an iPhone? Yes, given a choice, everyone would like to have it. It’s a beautiful-looking phone that works amazingly well. It’s just that some of us are too stubborn to admit it, and some of us are afraid of being labelled pretentious for using a phone long perceived as needlessly expensive.

Don’t get the logic of upgrading to the latest iPhone model when my old one is serving me fine

Moushumi Das Gupta
Senior Associate Editor, ThePrint

The tech geeks could be shelling out a bomb to buy the latest iPhone model in town. But I am not. Period. This, despite using a dated iPhone 6 model. I bought it in 2017 when it was finally affordable.

I don’t get the logic of upgrading to the latest iPhone model when my old one is serving me fine. I also don’t understand how you can become “happening” and be a part of the “it crowd” by upgrading to the newest model, when you can do everything you want with your old phone.

I am tech-challenged compared to most of my friends and colleagues. But I can use my iPhone to make and receive calls, send and receive messages, access mails and Twitter, file stories, watch videos, record videos, record interviews, do mobile banking, listen to my favourite song, read, buy my favourite pair of shoes from Amazon, order fish online, take selfies, post photos and more.

Why should I shell out a bomb to acquire the latest model?

But I do admit I get thrilled every time Apple launches a new phone. And I bet many others share this feeling. Not because they are dying to upgrade to the latest model. But they, like me, are looking at the prospect of being able to afford this iPhone a few years later, when it would no longer be this expensive. It doesn’t matter if the model is outdated by then.

Also read: Apple bets on cameras, new Pro model to sell its latest iPhones

Consecutive models don’t necessarily have much of a difference, but that doesn’t mean they’re identical

Ruhi Tewari
News Editor, ThePrint

There are some things that are more about luxury than necessity, and an Apple product falls in the former category.

As iPhone 11 is launched, fans will be eager to find out how different or advanced is this version from the previous one.

For iPhone users, the charm lies in the interface, the aesthetics of the phone, the iOS software and the fact that you can link it to your other Apple products like a Macbook.

It’s not right to say that every iPhone is the same. The variation can be significant depending on the gap in the generation of iPhones. Compare an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 6 and you will know the difference. Or, an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 8. Consecutive models don’t necessarily have much of a difference, but that does not mean they are identical.

It is also about getting used to a certain software and user interface, the comfort it brings, and the ease with which you are able to navigate the gadget. To be sure, for many it is more of a status symbol than anything else.

Of course, the price of an iPhone is the big question, but for aficionados, it is worth the hole in their pockets.

In smartphone universe, many phones outrank iPhone on performance and specs

Madhavi Pothukuchi
Senior Web Editor, ThePrint

iPhones have always catered to a particular kind of an audience – the kind who see phones as a status symbol. Buying an iPhone is like buying into the whole Apple universe, because that’s their business model. So, it’s not just about investing Rs 60,000 on a phone, it’s also about spending that amount of money every couple of years on an upgrade, and other Apple products.

In an economy like India’s, which is so fluid and is currently going through a difficult time, that kind of investment seems absolutely unnecessary.

Apple will inevitably launch another iPhone in a couple of years, perpetuating the cycle. So, why buy something that is so unnecessarily expensive and will soon become outdated? The same money can be invested in something much more stable and useful.

Technology will improve, there will be better things out there. Even in the smartphone universe, there are phones that outrank the iPhone, both in terms of performance and specs. While the pride of owning an elite product is understandable, it would be better, logically, to own one that can give you the same experience but at a much lower price.

Also read: Apple’s 3 new iPhones ⁠— XS, XS Max and XR ⁠— promise better camera, battery life (again)

Owning the latest iPhone is all about symbolism – exclusive and expensive

Monami Gogoi
Senior Web Editor, ThePrint

iPhone users queuing up outside an Apple store to buy the latest model shows how users identify with the brand. This has nothing to do with value for money.

Over the years, Apple has established itself as an innovator and has successfully marketed the brand around this.

In the early 2010s, when loyal Apple product users were mocked as ‘iSheep’, an article explained the psychology of iPhone buyers. It said social identity is one of the most important factors (apart from self-identity and value of the product and quality of service) that determines our choices, such as buying an iPhone. Social identity makes people define themselves through the groups they belong to – the so-called “in-groups”. So, you may be part of the Apple “in-group” and would want to buy the new model asap.

Acquiring the latest iPhone model has more to do with the symbolism: exclusive and expensive.

Earlier this year, Gucci introduced a pair of battered-looking, pre-dirtied sneakers called the ‘Screener’, priced at $870 and upwards. But then, people would still buy it ‘because it is Gucci’.

By Revathi Krishnan, journalist at ThePrint

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  1. Who cares about what I think… So I will save my comments about the topic.

    However I am unable to stop my self from mentioning my 2 cents on mindsets of a few due to who I saved my comments:

    Good Things need Good people, to be rightly valued.

    Masses who would make their pillion rider child wear a helmet only when there is a fine, those who will drink and drive if there are no cops in the area, who will study only to pass exams instead of gaining knowledge, those who will let go of immense long term value adds in good products for sad options just because they are a few rupees cheaper don’t deserve to be told what is better and why.

  2. Sorry but i don’t agree to your statement because iphone is far more superior to any phone in its segment because of the light weight os it is using and a desktop class processing power in the new model they are using Apple A13 which is almost 50% more powerful than its direct competitor snapdragon 855 plus processor and even the A12 bionic ship had better single core and multi core score as compared to its segment competitor Snapdragon 845 and as for the camera quality goes iphone its pitch perfect as the google pixel phones when compared to its segment like samsung phones which has faded colours and once you get used to the IOS UI you will feel that its the smoothest and with the IOS 13 coming this fall it got better even when you use an android phone with 8 gigs of ram you will feel laggy because android is an heavy os but IOS still runs on a Max of 4 gigs of ram which will never let you down even in the extreme cases and of course when you talk about Apple products you won’t talk about affordability because it’s a premium range phone so never compare iPhone or ipad with some mid range phones because they can never face of a Phone Having Apple processor with its new neural engine

  3. A lot of opinions states here are factually wrong. Smartphone market has been saturated with constant innovation arms race that had happened the last 5-6 years. Virtually all phones have minor upgrades from their predecessors. S10, Note, Pixel, etc. So stop making it sound like only the iPhone is the same

    Second, Apples processor are the fastest in the market. Their last year’s processors are faster than today’s android chips. So there’s a factual mistake there and specs between iPhones and Android cannot be generally compared due to fundamental differences.

    Third, iPhone 11 is the one that’s targetted for the masses. iPhone 11 Pro, which has minor upgrades from 11, is meant for people who can afford it, nothing more. It’s the best they can currently make and mass produce right now.

    Fourth, people don’t buy Apple for status symbol. That’s ridiculous, given that outside India, most people have iPhones and it isn’t anything great owning one. It’s the UI, the eco system, the ease, reliability, longevity and the lower depreciation that attracts customers to iPhones.

    Fifth, it’s incorrect to diss the enthusiasts who likes getting the latest and greatest model. It may not matter to you, but us enthusiasts are excited about the newer features and enhancements that makes us excited for the new launch. Just because you can browse twitter without any issues in your old model doesn’t mean that’s enough for us. Instead, I would rather say that you can get a Jio phone and it can probably do the same. Smh

    Please, don’t make uninformed, heavily under- researched and opinionated article. It’s embarrassing tbh.

  4. It’s been awhile since I’ve come across such uninformed, retrograde and standpat pratings , spouted by, to the eye, grotty wits, relying on scant more than on-dit. No one is too stubborn to admit that iPhones work well and look good. Point made is they don’t work well enough or even look good enough to, bear out the supernumerary greenbacks, that could have been darrained a couple of years ago, only just, even so at that. The SC is partly correct, though erring hugely in assuming expertise in re the US market. Apple has not , suddenly realized the avails of episodic payments. That has always been the way. You may purchase a contract, predominantly a two year one, or acquire an unlocked device. To add, most contracts enable buybacks at the end , along with paving the way for hasslefree upgradation.
    Aside : Americans almost never use the SMS, and imessage is not available out of the Apple verse.
    The SAC, makes no bones about her inscience and her piece buttresses her claims to sciolism. She might as well use a feature device and carry on swimmingly with nary a hiccup.
    Your SWE that poured out this sullage ;
    Apple will inevitably launch another iPhone in a couple of years. If one were wise one would fire such a rank idiot.
    Not a couple of years : Apple puts out one or more upgraded models every year, ever since they launched their fifth iPhone.
    Your NE voices trivia masqueraded as wisdom . Of course, no two models would be facsimiles but is that the point ? Retard.
    Ms Gogoi, the SWE, saves this amassed hooey from fel-do-se, nothing but.
    Truth be known, Apple’s distinctions have eroded over the years, and when we speak of smartphones, they have lost out to a better, more driven and financially copacetic challenger which has piecemeal caught up and built upon , to the point, where it now outshines the iPhone.

  5. At the time when the iPhone is becoming crazily expensive, it will be seen in the hands of a select few. Every time there’s a new release, people expect at least a 30% -35% upgrade. But that’s impossible on Apple’s part. It’s none other than the old wine in a new bottle. Rather people would be happier and buy if there’s a solid reason to change. Minor upgrades won’t help. With 5G round the corner there is a little bit of reluctance and backing off from buying the latest release.

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