On Monday, Apple reduced the price of the iPhone 5s in India to 24,999 Rupees (just $372), a massive reduction in price from the 44,500 Rupees ($663) that it sold for in September.
The price reduction is the third time in just three months that Apple has altered the iPhone 5s’ price, according to the Times of India. Previously, price cuts occurred around the time of the Hindu festivals Diwali and Dussehra.
The iPhone 5s is thought to account for nearly half of all Apple’s smartphone sales in India. And the latest cut appears to be part of the company’s plan to increase Indian sales in the December quarter, the Times’ sources said. One executive at an Indian cellphone chain said that by targeting that price band, Apple could gain on Samsung’s A and E series phones, which are in the same price bracket but have not recently been updated.
Until very recently, Apple’s sales in India have been lacklustre, partly due to high import taxes, low wages and a weak currency. All those factors meant that the iPhone was often priced out of the market. The iPhone 6s started at 62,000 Rupees (around $950) in India at launch in October, which is more than $300 over the US price.
Apple’s increased market share in India over the past year has come thanks to discounts, buybacks and instalment plans, besides a much wider network of resellers. The iPhone however still doesn’t sell nearly as many units as cheap devices from Micromax and Samsung.