Finally, we Indians don’t need to ask our NRI cousins for the new iPhones

…coming to India on October 17.
…coming to India on October 17.
Image: Reuters/Stephen Lam
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It’s going to be an explosive Diwali for India’s smartphone market.

Apple’s new iPhone 6 is coming to India on October 17, a week before the fireworks go off for the festival of lights.

More importantly, the phone will be available in India only 28 days after its release in the US.

There’s no inkling yet of how much the iPhone 6 or it’s larger cousin, the iPhone 6 plus, will cost here. But such a quick India launch is a record of sorts for Apple.

Just look at the numbers: A 91% drop in wait time for the iPhone between 2010 and 2014.

Of course, during this period India has become one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world as feature phone users migrate towards more affordable smart devices in hordes.

Image for article titled Finally, we Indians don’t need to ask our NRI cousins for the new iPhones

With bigger screens, better battery life and a fancy new video function (full specs here), Apple’s new offerings here will likely go head-to-head with global rival Samsung.

The Korean major has a 14.4% share of the Indian mobile phone market and leads the smartphone category, while Apple’s share is only about 7%.

India’s overall market leader is homegrown Micromax with 16.6% share, and the company has aggressively expanded in the lower cost categories.

For Apple, though, it’s been a somewhat tricky market to crack, primarily because its phones remain unaffordable for the vast majority of Indians. Still, after revamping strategy last year, CEO Tim Cook reported in April 2014 that iPhone sales had increased 55% in the subcontinent. While that’s good, it’s nothing spectacular—Vietnam, for instance, saw iPhone sales rocket by 262%!

That said, in the Rs 30,000 ($500) and above smartphone category, Apple doesn’t seem to be doing too badly in India: Every second phone sold in this segment is reportedly an iPhone.

And with India beginning to obsess over big screen phones, expect more action here.