Where does the time fly? It’s like just yesterday I was celebrating New Year by writing angry emails to everyone, and suddenly it’s February already! CES happened again. As usual. Surprise, surprise! Everything launched was The Best Ever™, which means nothing really was – it was just hyped up to be that way. Plus, why does it matter anyway? Most of those gadgets are just nonsense that never sees the light of day, and it’s just companies trying to get their 15 seconds of internet time. Sure, some of it is just announcements of products, which are rarely ever ground-breaking, and will all come to us stale anyway. Yes, you read that right, stale, like a week old loaf of bread that’s been left out and has green fungus all over it!
I mean, just look at Apple’s latest range of iPhones (yes, I’m picking on Apple again, cry me a river fanboy!). Even in 2017, their not-so-flagship phones, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were not available in brick and mortar stores in India for at least a couple of weeks after people in the US had them already. The HTC Vive was officially available in India only a full year after official launch in quite a few other markets, and now that the HTC Vive Pro and its wireless hoo-haa have been announced at CES, Gaben knows how long we’ll have to wait for the gracious tech-lords to be able to bring it into our peasant hands.
Of course, that doesn’t stop all of them from trying to pander to Indian emotions and make some stupid claims about how India is their most important market, or how they love India and will be giving you a fake discount on some online shopping sites for Republic Day, or Independence Day.
Enough, I say! It’s time we tell these companies to shove their pandering where the sun don’t shine. No more tech-racism and using India to offload leftover US stock, or else thinking of us as an after-thought to the rest of the world.
They even misuse the Make in India initiative! Smartphone manufacturers like Xiaomi may have set up manufacturing units in the country, but most of their most of their flagships like the Mi Mix 2 and more are still China firsts, and we only get the modest Redmi range on time. I’m not saying we should have preference over others, or be treated as special in any way. I’m just demanding that we be treated as equally as the other “big markets” and “game-changing countries” in the world. If it can launch in the US, it can launch here too. If it can launch in next door China, it can certainly launch here too! Given the amount of junk crossing the border on an hourly basis, sending out a few thousand phones so that it can be launched simultaneously should be easy. Of course, I’m not claiming it doesn’t happen at all, it just doesn’t happen enough.
It’s not just hardware that suffers from this geographical bias. Worse still, software and online services, which have absolutely no excuse in this day and age, are also suffering from the same malady. For example, services like Spotify and Twitch Prime are not available. Supposedly over 200 countries have the Amazon-owned Twitch Prime today, but not us! Remember that when Amazon tells you it loves India.
And don’t tell me Indians are not willing to pay… we spend sometimes double or triple buying these products on the grey market, and without a proper warranty even. It’s obvious we can afford it.
So what do we do about it? Nothing! We sit and moan about it on blogs and personal columns like this. Or, we could really do something, and refuse to buy from brands that delay products to India and treat us like second-class citizens. Make that happen and even my grumpy self might smile a little. Don’t count on it though, there are a million other things to boo.