Over the weekend, the New York Times detailed Apple’s efforts to break through in India, including special monthly plans and discount deals. But it looks like the company might be employing another sales tactic as well. According to The Economic Times, Apple is getting ready to relaunch the 8GB iPhone 4.
According to the report, Apple is hoping to gain back Indian market share lost to Samsung after pulling the iPhone 4 from its lineup last quarter. CMR data referenced in the report shows that Apple’s market share in the Indian marked peaked in October-December 2012 and January-March 2013 at more than 4 percent. But that number decreased to just 1.4 percent in October 2013, after Apple stopped selling the iPhone 4. Samsung, on the other hand, saw its market share rise from 33 to 42 percent during that period.
Bringing back the iPhone 4 would allow Apple to sell the device at a much more budget-friendly price than its newer offerings. It was initially expected to do this with the iPhone 5c, though that phone simply turned into a replacement for the iPhone 5. According to the report, the iPhone 4 will be priced at 15,000 rupees ($244). That’s significantly less expensive than the iPhone 5s, which starts at 53,500 rupees ($854). The NYT article points out that a good average salary in India is about $400 per month.
Just for comparison in the U.S., Apple no longer directly offers the iPhone 4 for sale, but you can still pick up an 8GB model from Virgin Mobile for $159.99. The iPhone 4s, meanwhile, starts at $279.99. That’s a pretty big difference.
There is still no iPhone 4 inventory in store, according to an executive at a retail phone chain in India, but Apple might relaunch the device as early as next week to take advantage of the Republic Day holiday.