In a bid to push sales of its newer smartphones, Apple has reportedly killed off four of its lower-priced smartphones in India. By axing the iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus and 6S Plus, Apple’s has made it quite expensive to purchase its entry-level smartphones.
As per a report by the Economic Times, “As part of its new strategy to focus on driving value in India instead of chasing volumes, Apple has stopped selling the iPhone SE, 6, 6Plus and 6sPlus, three senior industry executives said. This will increase the entry-level price of an iPhone in India by almost Rs 8,000.”
The supply of these lower-end models ceased last month and Apple has informed its sellers that the new base model will be the iPhone 6S; as and when existing models of the other iPhones get sold.
Priced at Rs 29,500 in India, the iPhone 6S is now the cheapest Apple handset in India while the earlier entry-level handset, the iPhone SE was priced between Rs 21,000 to Rs 22,000.
The aforementioned models are unavailable on Amazon India and on Flipkart, the iPhone SE and 6 Plus are out of stock. All variants of the other two models aren’t available.
As per the report, “The decision was taken after Apple improved its revenue and profit in India in 2018-19, even though iPhone sales volumes took a hit, with the focus more on pushing the latest and higher-priced models. An industry executive said Apple India’s sales in the April-June quarter had gone up after it undertook a promotion to drop iPhone XR prices.”
Apple has decreased its number of distributors in India from five to two in comparison to last year and the report states that Apple “decided to rein in arbitrary discounts to reinforce the brand’s premium.”
A trade partner of Apple stated, “Cupertino does not want Apple India to chase volumes by discounting at the cost of profit. These models which are being phased out will increase the average selling price of iPhones in India and boost both profit and revenue.”
Previously, Apple used to manufacture the iPhone SE, 6S and 7 in India and now the idle capacity will be used to build other, more recent models.
The report also adds, “The company will localise its upcoming iPhone operating system iOS 13 for the first time for Indian consumers, with support for 22 Indian languages, maps for navigation and virtual assistant Siri, which can now talk and understand Indian English.”