The falling rupee is obviously going to have an adverse impact on the price of smartphones in India, since most manufacturers import from abroad. The rupee now sits closer to 70 than 60, negating the price advantage one might get when buying electronics in the US, where they are generally cheaper.
Amidst this, the Nexus 4's price has dropped and the phone now starts at a bargain basement-like $199 (approx Rs 14,000), pretty much undercutting the rest of the high-end competition. Both the Nexus 4 variants have received a $100 price cut on the Google Play Store in some countries. The 16GB version is now retailing for $249, which is roughly Rs 17,500. (Fun fact: The converted price of the Nexus 4 in India remains more or less the same despite the drop, thanks to the falling rupee).
While some people may want to pass over the Nexus 4 when comparing it to today’s 1080p bunch, it still has great specs, an unburdened Android operating system, a robust development community and support. And that price, of course.
No change in grey market prices
In India, the Nexus 4 was launched by LG earlier this year, with the 16GB model priced at Rs 25,999, understandably higher than Google's $349 price tag. Google can afford to subsidise the cost of the Nexus 4 as it will recoup it through the potential Play Store revenue from content. LG, on the other hand, gets no such direct benefits from the Play Store and hence has to focus on device sales alone. In this regard, it makes little sense for LG to drop the price as per Google’s move. So the official price of the device is not likely to change. But what about the grey market?
Indian buyers are always looking for a cheaper option, and this is the big draw of the grey market when it comes to smartphones. The grey market usually offers you a cheaper-than-official-price for phones that have been already launched by sacrificing margins or sourcing from abroad.
We fully expected the Nexus 4 to fall into this pattern and excitedly called up our sources in the grey market to find out how much of a price drop there was. However, we were informed that there will be no change in the price. Retailers know about the Nexus 4 price cut, but the falling rupee has prevented them from passing on that change to Indian customers. So the current grey price for the Nexus 4 is still Rs 23,500, unchanged from a few months ago. We were told that the price of the Google flagship would come down if the rupee shows signs of proper recovery in the next few weeks. So if you are looking to buy a Nexus 4, it's best to wait a few more weeks before taking the plunge. In the meantime, let's hope and pray for a swift recovery for the rupee.
Publish date: August 30, 2013 1:06 pm| Modified date: January 7, 2014 11:54 am