It would seem that Apple has altered its market strategy in India, where its market share is less than two percent and inexpensive handsets rule the landscape, in a move that has left its cash-strapped buyers in the 1.33 billion people country out in the cold.

According to unnamed sources cited by The Economic Times this morning, the Cupertino company has stopped selling the following iPhone models in India:

  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6s Plus

As a result, iPhone 6s is now the new low-end and what that means is that people who previously couldn’t afford that handset are being left behind. This is also interesting considering Apple is actually producing the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s models in India.

Three unnamed senior industry executives said that this is part of Apple’s new strategy to “focus on driving value in India instead of chasing volumes”. The change will increase the entry-level price of an iPhone in India by almost Rs 8,000, which works out to about $116.

AppleInsider explains:

The change will raise the barrier of entry to the Apple ecosystem for customers. While iPhone SE used to sell for as little as 21,000 rupees ($306), iPhone 6s currently costs 29,500 rupees ($430.) In May, Apple marketed the iPhone 6s as ‘now made in India,’ with a price tag of 26,910 rupees ($393.)

Apple’s prices in India are higher than competition due to a multitude of factors, like taxes, the cost of doing business in India, the prevalence of inexpensive handsets and so forth.

In March 2019, Apple’s contract manufacturer Wistron expanded its Indian production into the latest iPhone XS and XR models. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou said recently that India-made iPhone 7 models began shipping to European markets from Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru.

Last Thursday, a report claimed the Cupertino firm was prepping to start selling Indian-made iPhone XS and iPhone XR models locally in the country this August.

Image: an Apple reseller store in Mumbai, Francis Mascarenhas | Reuters