Apple is a globally-recognised brand that is synonymous with premium smartphones. In India, Apple's influence is profound, but the high price tags attached to the iPhones keep many from buying Apple's smartphones. With the launch of every new iPhone, the prices of older iPhones drop and give some consumers a chance to be a part of Apple's ecosystem - a well-received practice in India.
Apple's latest iPhones, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, are placed in the higher price bracket, so older iPhones like iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone SE generate interest among the masses. But it looks like shoppers will need to increase their budget even if they are planning to buy the cheapest, older-generation iPhones.
According to The Economic Times, Apple has discontinued production of some of its older iPhones, which include 2016's iPhone SE, 2014's iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and 2015's iPhone 6s Plus. The industry sources cited in the report said the decision to discontinue popular and cheaper iPhones in India is to drive value instead of volumes.
As a result, consumers planning to purchase a new iPhone in the entry-level segment will need to spend at least Rs 8,000 extra. All four models are currently out of stock on Amazon India and Flipkart is still selling some variants of the iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 6, but the other two models are completely sold out.
According to the sources, the supplies for the discontinued iPhone models stopped last month. Prior to that, the cheapest iPhone selling in India was the iPhone SE at a much affordable price point of about Rs 21,000. With the new change, the iPhone 6s takes the spot for the cheapest iPhone with a price tag of around Rs 30,000.
"Cupertino does not want Apple India to chase volumes by discounting at the cost of profit," said one leading trade partner of Apple. "These models which are being phased out will increase the average selling price of iPhones in India and boost both profit and revenue."
Apple hasn't officially confirmed the discontinuation of the four popular iPhone models, which are currently listed on Apple's US website. But existing users of the discontinued iPhones should not be alarmed. They will continue to work as usual even though it is only the iPhone 6s series that is on the current (iOS 13) and last software cycle. For years, these iPhones have commanded great volumes for the company, and it remains to be seen how the new strategy will impact sales in the country.