India has never been a focus area for Apple when it comes to the iPhone, but things could change with new versions of the device. Sources in the know of things have told Business Today that the new iPhones - most probably an iPhone 5S and a cheaper iPhone Lite - would be launched in India in the first wave along with the US and European markets. This could be as early as the second half of September this year.
Of late, Apple's iOS has been losing ground to the smartphones running the Android operating system and available at different price points from players such as Samsung. An affordable iPhone would be Apple's answer to the cheap Android. And for such a device Asian markets like India would be the prime target. So launching these models in India right away would make sense.
Earlier this year, Apple became aggressive in India by introducing a buyback offer, giving a Rs 7,000 off on the Apple iPhone 4 in exchange of an old smartphone. After three months of the scheme, Apple has almost run out of stocks for the 8GB variant. So the offer has now shifted to the 16GB version of the iPhone 4, discontinued with the launch of iPhone 4S. Apple also started a trade-in offer on iPad Mini and 16GB model of the iPad with Retina display. The scheme was so popular that Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that iPhone sales had witnessed a jump of 400 per cent in India.
While many sources confirmed that the iPhone 5S and iPhone Lite will be available immediately after the global announcement, another source added that Apple is also planning to launch a Mini version of the phone.
However, despite the cheaper price tag the increasing dollar value could make the new phone expensive in India. The price conscious Indian could still try and get a better deal for the phones in Hong Kong or Singapore.
Apple India did not revert to our request for comments.