For some time now, a number of pundits have been calling on Apple to release a cheaper version of the iPhone to grow market share in developing countries.
To some extent Apple has apparently listened — since it is reportedly planning to sell the discontinued iPhone 4 in India for the reduced price of around RS 15,000 ($250) — making it among the cheapest unsubsidized iPhones in the world.
Breaking with the tradition of Friday launches in India — and despite rumors that it would take place on November 29 — Apple has announced that customers in India will be able to buy the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display as of Saturday, December 7.
Cult of Mac may have previously reported that Apple manufacturer Foxconn was scaling back on iPhone 5c production — instead focusing its attention on the 5s — but it seems that there is at least one place where the iPhone 5c is finding its audience: and that place is India.
Although actual sales figures aren’t on offer — meaning that this relies on anecdotal evidence — resellers have reported far higher demand for the 5c than the new model Samsung smartphone.
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.
Google Play has finally surpassed the App Store in the number of downloads in a quarter for the first time ever according to a report from App Annie.
Thanks to strong performances in India and Brazil, Google Play topped the App Store with 10% more app downloads in Q2 2013. Despite Google Play netting more downloads, when it comes down to what matters most – cash, money, revenue – Apple is still generating 2.3x more dead presidents than Google Play.
While the U.S. market has been the biggest measure for success with handset makers over the last few years, all of that may soon change as the U.S. smartphone market quickly gets dwarfed by China and others.
According to a new report from ABI Research, China will displace the U.S. as the largest smartphone market by the end of 2013, but just five years later both India and Brazil will pass the U.S. too:
Apple resellers in China and India will try almost anything to get people to buy an iPhone but one premium reseller in India is taking it to an all-new level by offering customers a free upgrade to the iOS 7 beta with the purchase of an iPhone 5.
Don’t want to have to buy a new iPhone 5 just to play with iOS 7? The store says they’ll also let you pay to just upgrade to the iOS 7 beta for $20 if you have an iPhone 5 but it’ll cost you $23 for an iPad.
iOS 7 is in its second round of beta testing with developers and won’t be released until Fall 2013. The reseller’s Facebook posts advertising the promo have already been taken down, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple already put the kibosh on iCentre India’s new marketing strategies.
Apple’s making a big push in India, and it appears to be paying off. According to an article in The Times of India, Apple India’s revenue already rose by a factor of three last year, and analysts there expect the current brisk sales of iPhones to boost the company’s bottom line to over $1 billion in the current year.
While Apple does not disclose financials for the Indian sales unit, it does file with the Indian Registrar of Companies. In that filing, Apple reported a 431 percent rise in net profit this year, which the Times attributes to iPhone sales.