Apple is reported to be ceasing sales of the iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus in India. Ceasing sales of the “entry level” iPhones means Indian buyers will be forced to purchase later (and higher priced) models of the handset.
The news come via The Economic Times, which says the move is part of a new Apple strategy to focus on driving value in India instead of chasing volume sales.
The report says supplies of the lower-priced models stopped last month. and that Apple’s distributors and sales team informed traders that the new entry level model will be the iPhone 6s
The iPhone 6s currently sells for about Rs 29,500, while the iPhone SE, the earlier entry model, used to sell for Rs 21,000-22,000.
Apple has been manufacturing the iPhone SE in India, along with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. With the shift in policy, idle capacity in those factories could be used to expand production of other iPhone models.
The report says the decision was made following Apple’s improving of revenue and profit in India by 12% over the last year, despite selling less iPhones than the previous year.
“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 India declined to comment on the matter.
Apple currently ranks 11th in the Indian smartphone market, accounting for just 1% of the country’s smartphone sales. The company sold fewer than 1 million iPhones during the first half of 2018.