The iPhone just became much more cost-friendly in the second largest wireless market in the world. India’s third largest carrier, Reliance Communications, has started selling the iPhone 5c and 5s with a two-year contract. Indian customers have previously only been able to purchase the iPhone for its full, unsubsidized price off contract.
India is a key emerging market for Apple, and this move could significantly bolster iPhone sales in the country if it catches on at other Indian carriers.
Unlike the U.S, India doesn’t have a reliable system for universally tracking citizens’ credit worthiness, notes The Wall Street Journal. This problem is why many countries around the world still don’t sell smartphones unsubsidized—they can’t take the risk. But Reliance Communications is now providing wireless contracts for customers with credit cards.
Reliance Communications said it will sell the iPhone 5S for 2,999 rupees ($48.5) per month and the 5C for 2,599 rupees per month. The amount would include unlimited phone calls, Internet subscription and no additional costs.
Both new iPhones officially went on sale today in India as part of Apple’s continued international rollout. For comparison, the 5s costs 53,500 rupees, or $865 normally. Samsung sells much cheaper Android phones in India and currently commands 36% market share while Apple only has 2%.
There are still no official Apple stores in India, but there have been reports that Apple wants to start selling products in around 100 additional resellers.
Source: The Wall Street Journal