Apple Moves to Older Cheaper Models for Indian Customers

AppleApple is looking to move in on Indian customers by looking back at older and cheaper models of the iPhone. Reports from TechCrunch state that the iPhone 4 is the one to look out for.

Despite being one of the most popular brands around the world, the iPhone is hardly selling in India. One estimate indicates that just two percent of cell phones sold in the country are iPhones, and price is one of the most likely reasons. Estimates state that 90 percent of new phones sold will be bought by first-time customers, but these brands will likely be Nokia, Samsung and Google.

After launching the iPhone with China Mobile, there has already been one million pre-orders for the device. In India, about one million handsets were sold in 2013, showing the work that the tech giant needs to put in. This is now a focus for Apple, as it concentrates on aggressive marketing within the country.

The main phone that will be made available is the iPhone 4, a model from 2010. The 8 GB version will be on sale for around $250, according to The Economic Times. This is unlikely, as it is a drop of almost $200 from the original selling price in India. Other sources believe that the price will be around $350, which is considerable.

This is the first time Apple has considered a move to offer older, cheaper models for Indian customers. Before this, the plan was to throw in other features to get customers to pay the premium prices. Some of these features included buyback deals and monthly payments, instead of the total amount upfront.

Apple attempted to introduce a cheaper iPhone model in 2013. The 5C was expected to be the best option for those on a budget around the world. However, other brands were still much cheaper in India. While the 5C was around $525, Samsung phones were available for $400 and Nokia phones were priced at around $300. The Google Nexus 4 is available for around $370. However, the $525 is much less than the iPhone 5S, which sold at around $870 in the country.

The tech giant has not had the best reputation in India. A Bangalore tech center was supposed to open, but plans for that were shelved. When engineers were hired, they were fired shortly afterwards as Apple elected to concentrate on other parts of the world. Indian customers did not even see the products, until the year of the iPhone 4 release, and then it took three years for the customers to really start buying and for revenues to double.

Apple has discontinued the manufacturing of the iPhone 4 model, which will mean customers will receive those that are still left over or refurbished phones. Very little is known about the features and capabilities for the phone within these plans, or about the iOS that will be used. If Apple is selling older, cheaper models to Indian customers, the features may not stand up against the newer phones from the likes of Google and Samsung.

By Alexandria Ingham


The Economic Times
Business Insider
Rediff Business

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