updated 11:34 am EST, Mon November 18, 2013
High prices of Apple phones a barrier
Apple is planning to launch a special trade-in program in India that would allow people to put non-Apple smartphones toward the cost of an iPhone 5c or 4S, according to local publication Business Today. A specific list of phones will be eligible, including the Nokia Lumia 925; the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10; the HTC Desire 500, Desire 600, One Mini, and One Dual-SIM; the Samsung Galaxy Mega, S4 Mini, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, and Galaxy Note 3; and finally, the Sony Xperia C, Xperia ZR, Xperia Z, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Ultra. Apple's own iPhone 4 will of course also be an option.
Merchants participating in the program will get a commission of 2000 rupees per device. For customers, the initiative will lower the cost of an iPhone 5c from 41,900 rupees to 28,900, and the price of a 4S from 31,500 rupees to only 18,500.
Although Apple has been making a bigger push in India during the past year, the iPhone is often a prohibitively expensive device in a market that skews towards unlocked phones and pre-paid service. The 41,900 rupees for a 5c translates into $671, $122 more than the same hardware would cost in the US.