Apple allows Indian retailers to discount older iPhone models to boost sales

Apple’s smartphone market share of the Indian market barely hovers above three percent because its aspirational handset is too expensive for many average consumer in the 1.32 billion people market.

But the Cupertino giant is taking steps to rectify the situation and has now permitted local retailers to slash prices of older-generation models such as iPhone 5s, which make up more than half of Apple’s shipments to the subcontinent.

Bloomberg reported Monday that Apple is now letting stores and online retailers such as and Flipkart slash iPhone prices.

iPlanet, a local reseller, prices iPhone 5s at 20,400 rupees, which works out to about $300. Apple no longer sells iPhone 5s in the US, but the most similar model, iPhone SE, starts at $400 in the US, without taxes or fees.

The device was listed at 15,999 rupees during an Amazon sale in May, or about $250. Retailer Flipkart lists iPhone 6 for 24,990 rupees, or approximately $390.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Besides discounts, retailers have been pitching iPhones with cash-back offers, product exchanges, and monthly payment plans, all aimed at making it easier for young Indians to spend a month’s earnings or more on an iPhone 5s.

Apple is hiring an undisclosed number of ‘affordability managers’ in the country to negotiate with banks and other lenders on behalf of potential buyers.

Older devices accounted for a Counterpoint Research-estimatd 55 percent of the 2.6 million handsets Apple shipped to India in 2016. “As the premium segment grows in India, Apple wants a larger slice of it,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at market researcher Gartner.

“The bigger the iOS base, the brighter Apple’s future in India,” he added.

India is the smartphone industry’s fastest-­growing market and an increasingly important market for Apple. The company has now started assembling iPhone SE devices in India via its contract manufacturer Wistron and is seeking additional concessions from the local government in an effort to boost local iPhone production.

The Wistron manufacturing facility is currently assembling “a couple thousand” iPhone SE units as a trial run, according to people familiar with the matter.

Tim Cook & Co. are predicted to officially bring Apple Online Store to India and enable Apple Pay transactions in the country.

In March, the iPhone maker opened the iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in the Yelahanka area of Bengaluru, which is the home of India’s startup scene. The populous country has some of the most vibrant and entrepreneurial iOS development communities in the world.