Apple has knocked a huge chunk off of the price of both its iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in Brazil, showing the first indications of a bigger push for market share in the country.
The price cut saw both handsets’ prices cut by R$ 400 ($198), as Journal O Globo noted (via Mac Rumors) on Monday. Pricing for the iPhone 4 now starts at $544 for an 8GB model, while the iPhone 4S starts at $840 for a 16GB model.
Apple offers Brazilian buyers of the iPhone the option to pay for their devices in monthly installments. They also have the option of paying for their device in full, and receive an additional 10% discount for doing so.
Apple has stated that the price drop is not a limited time promotion, but are the new starting price points for the popular devices. The iPhone 5 is still being sold sans discount.
The discount does make the iPhone 4 and 4S more competitive price-wise with competitor’s lower-priced phones, as the Samsung Galaxy S II costs R$ 1,599 in Brazil, while Motorola’s Razr goes for R$ 1,299.
Brazil is South America’s largest economy, and as such is an important market for Apple. Legal issues have presented stumbling blocks to the Cupertino firm, as trademark issues over the iPhone moniker have arisen. Also, a Brazilian consumer protection group recently filed suit against Apple, claiming the fourth-generation iPad was an example of “planned obsolescence” as it followed so quickly upon the heels of the third-generation model.