As the US market stagnates, and China matures, the second-most populous country in the world is quickly becoming number one in mainstream appeal for both smartphone-producing veterans and rookies.

After all, there are now over a billion mobile users in India and growing, with active local smartphone ownership recently exceeding the United States and only ranking below China around the globe.

It thus came as no surprise to see Apple, probably the most “conservative” name in the industry in terms of device prices and profit margins, discount the iPhone 5s and 6s to try to win over an audience still focused primarily on ultra-low-cost handhelds.

Next, Cupertino was said to be gunning for its own Indian retail stores, but unfortunately, all these encouraging moves are offset by the no doubt controversial decision of halting regional iPhone 4s and 5c sales.

Granted, the two oldies have vanished from “developed” Western markets a while back, so eventually, they had to reach EOL everywhere. But in India, they reportedly sold like hotcakes to this day, providing the same brand awareness and standing as their successors at a fraction of the price.

The iPhone 5c used to cost as little as Rs 20,000 ($290), with the 4s going for an even more palatable 12,000 rupees, or $175. Now, the cheapest iPhone is the Rs 24,000 ($350) 5s, as Apple seeks to improve profitability and the average selling price of iDevices.

Sounds like a solid albeit unpopular business plan, though it remains to be seen what that means for the upcoming iPhone 5se.

Source: The Economic Times

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