New Delhi: India is a market with a mind of its own. Unlike the serpentine queues on the opening day in other countries where Apple's New iPad tablet went on sale, the store we went to was deserted.
There was no signs of excitement about a new product launch at iMagine, an Apple Premium Reseller in Nodia's commercial hub Sector 18. Apple does not yet have any company owned company operated stores in India. Apple's products in India are retailed from the 35 Apple Premium Resellers or from multi-brand stores.
When we went to the Noida Apple store at about half past nine in the morning, the only sign of life was a bull basking in the sun outside. We tweeted the image from @IBNLiveTech and it went viral on Twitter.
Why Apple is not bullish about the Indian market (An deserted Apple store in Nodia, near New Delhi on the day of the New iPad launch in India) (Ankit Tuteja/IBNLive.com)
When the store finally opened at about 11 AM and we stepped in, the New iPad wasn't even on display. Freshly unloaded boxes with iPads inside were lying in a corner.
About half-an-hour later the first customer Dheeraj Singh, stepped in. He wanted a 64GB model for his wife and was disappointed to know that it wasn't in stock and being the Apple loyalist that he says he is, chose a 32GB Wi-Fi model instead.
A store employee told us that they got about 100 pre-bookings and the other iPad customer at the store had pre-booked his.
Even in India's vibrant social media world, the New iPad launch in the country was hardly buzzing. The news was not one of the top trending topics in India or in any of the major Indian cities. Even Google India's search trends did not have any mention of the Apple tablet.
India has been one of the markets where Apple is struggling to find a firm foothold. The premium priced Apple products have to struggle hard for a sizeable market share in price sensitive India. The Indian market is witnessing a deluge of tablets, some priced as low as Rs 3,000 and the lowest priced New iPad costs 10 times of that.
The new iPad Wi-Fi models are available in black or white for Rs 30,500 for the 16GB model, Rs 36,500 for the 32GB model and Rs 42,500 for the 64GB model.
The iPad Wi-Fi + 4G models is available for Rs 38,900 for the 16GB model, Rs 44,900 for the 32GB model and Rs 50,900 for the 64GB model.
Apple had also announced a price drop for the iPad 2, which is now available at a price starting Rs 24,500 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model and Rs 32,900 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi + 3G model.
New iPad launch day in India. Outside an Apple store in Noida, the only one queuing up is a bull yfrog.com/oc6w2efj— IBNLive Tech (@IBNLiveTech) April 27, 2012