Apple partners with Flipkart to sell iPhone 7

BENGALURU (TIP): Apple has partnered with Flipkart to sell its iPhone 7 on the Bengaluru-based etailer’s platform from October 7. Flipkart will source iPhone 7 directly from Apple, unlike previous years when it would source the phones from third-party sellers.

This is the first time that Apple has partnered with a consumer-facing online player to sell a new iPhone version. Infibeam, which has been an Apple partner for some years, will also receive the new iPhones directly, but it is known more as a bulk seller, one that does not deal with consumers directly.

The development was first reported by online portal BGR.in. When contacted, Flipkart declined to comment on the matter while an e-mail sent to the Apple India spokesperson did not elicit any response.

Flipkart, which has the largest etail market share in India, generates a major chunk of its revenues from sales of smartphones. Multiple smartphone brands, including Motorola and LeEco, sell exclusively on Flipkart. TOI reported on September 22 that Flipkart sold 1 lakh units of Motorola’s latest E3 range in 24 hours on Tuesday.

The iPhone 7 deal should give Flipkart a leg up, at a time when it is facing stiff competition from American rival Amazon which has been investing heavily in the Indian market. The tie-up may help provide fresh excitement during the festival season sales.Amazon too may offer iPhone 7s on its platform, but the absence of a direct deal with Apple will mean the margins it gets will be lower, and it will probably have less flexibility in managing the supply chain.