Apple is still struggling to gain any significant foothold in India with iPhone. No carrier subsidies and low average income means that their smartphones are affordable only to a very small subset of Indian customers.
Unfortunately, any gains Apple got from its iPhone 5C promotion efforts were brought to naught by the worldwide retirement of the old iPhone 4 8GB. It turns out that despite the old specs, this smartphone was really popular India and competed well with sub-$400 (Rs 30K) offerings from Samsung’s and others.
According to the executive in one top Indian retail chain:
Apple’s iPhone 4 8GB model used to rank amongst the top three selling models by unit sales and fight neck and neck with Samsung, but with its exit the company lost much ground
That’s why, according to Times of India, Apple decided to bring iPhone 4 8GB back to the country, and will sell it for a very attractive $244 (Rs 15K) price (via trade-ins).
It is not clear where Apple will get enough iPhone 4 units. They have discontinued the production last year and restarting it might not be feasible. One possibility is to collect all the unsold iPhone 4 inventories sitting in partner warehouses around the world and bring them to India, but that’s just a speculation at this point.
According to Times of India, iPhone 4 8GB slaes may restart as early as next week.