Apple is looking to boost its market share in the ever more important growth market of India, reports CNET. The company has almost cut in half the price for the iPhone 5s, dropping it from 44,500 Rupees ($665) to 25,000 Rupees ($370).
The price cut appears to be a move by the Californian company to increase its penetration in India, the world’s third largest smartphone market after China and the USA, where the bulk of phones sold are sub-$300. As of quarter 3 of 2015, Apple is not even among the top 5 smartphone vendors in India, a market that IDC Research predicts will overtake the US by 2017.
Apple is taking this approach to drive purchases in India, where the greatest opportunity in the smartphone market is for mid-range devices. “To drive volume, Apple will need to keep focus on older iPhone generations,” IDC’s Kiranjeet Kaur said.
The Indian government also places a high import tax on products not made in the country. Apple competitor Samsung is much more competitive in the market, due to its local manufacturing facilities.
Apple iPhone assembly partner Foxconn is expected to build 10-12 factories in India by 2020, although it isn’t known at this time if any of those facilities will build iPhones. Tim Cook has discussed the possibility of Apple opening manufacturing facilities in India, but nothing firm has been announced.