Apple shifts sales strategy in India with nearly half priced iPhone 5s

Although the iPhone 5s is Apple's best selling handset in India, consumers are still buying lower-priced Android phones. A price cut could change that and clear inventory before an iPhone 6c.

Expensive iPhone handsets haven't sold well in India which is dominated by low-cost Android handsets from a number of brands. Perhaps that's why Apple has dropped the price of its entry level phone, the iPhone 5s, by nearly half in that country, reports CNET.

This is the third time Apple has cut prices on the iPhone 5c in four months, notes the Economic Times in India. September's iPhone 5c price was Rs 44,500 (US $665). Now, the phone can be had for Rs 24,999 (US $370).

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Perhaps not surprising, the iPhone 5s is the most popular handset Apple sells in India, which is still a growing market for smartphone sales And a massive population base of nearly 1.3 billion. The lowest price model makes up nearly half of all iPhone sales in that country, likely due to the low price compared to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

What is surprising, then, are the recent price cuts: Why drop the price on your best selling model?

Part of the reason is likely that even Apple's best selling iPhone in India is still a blip on the radar compared to sales of Android phones.

Consumers in the country have an array of smartphone choices that cost much less than the iPhone 5s, coming from Samsung, Micromax, Intext, Lava, Lenovo and many others.

There could be another reason though, as Apple typically doesn't chase market share for its iOS devices and instead focuses on profits. It may be trying to reduce inventory of the iPhone 5s in preparation for the rumored iPhone 6c that's been making the rounds over the past few months.

That handset is expected to launch as early as March, 2016 with a 4.7-inch display but without some of the latest iOS device features such as 3D Touch.