April 4, 2019 / 8:57 AM / 2 months ago

Apple cuts iPhone XR prices in India -sources

MUMBAI, April 4 (Reuters) - Apple Inc has cut prices of one of its latest iPhones in India by around one-fourth, sources said, as the U.S. tech giant looks to boost sales in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market following a similar move in China.

The price of the 64 GB iPhone XR has been reduced by at least 17,900 rupees ($259) due to a credit card cashback campaign and a price cut, two people with direct knowledge of with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

“Apple is going to change their game,” one of the people said. “They will start getting into the price game for other devices also depending on how their numbers shoot up.”

On Apple’s India website, the price of the 64 GB iPhone XR was unchanged at 76,900 rupees, but is on sale for less than 59,000 rupees at stores, the people said.

Prices for the two other XR variants have also dropped, they said. The XR is the cheapest series among iPhones Apple launched last year.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

The price reduction comes after iPhone prices were lowered in China for the second time this year, as Apple wrestles with a prolonged sales slowdown in the world’s largest smartphone market partly due to a slowing economy.

In India, Apple’s iPhones are up against the more competitive pricing of rival handsets from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and China’s OnePlus.

“The focus of this entire (price cut) exercise is to win customers who would have thought of going to Samsung or OnePlus, to make them think whether they can spend some extra money on an iPhone XR - it’s more bang for the buck,” said Rushabh Doshi of tech research firm Canalys.

Samsung latest Galaxy S10e is priced at 55,900 rupees while the OnePlus 6T starts at 37,999 rupees.

Apple’s share of India’s $400-plus smartphone segment stood at 23 percent in 2018, behind both Samsung and OnePlus, showed data from Hong Kong-based tech researcher Counterpoint.

But with a share of just 1 percent of India’s entire smartphone market, Apple responded last year by revamping its sales and distribution strategy.

Apple also plans to increase local production in a move that could help it limit the impact of a China-U.S. trade war. The company will soon begin assembling its top-end phones through the local unit of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn) , Reuters previously reported. ($1 = 68.7740 Indian rupees) ($1 = 6.7139 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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