Apple's fortunes in India are not faring too well as it's on the heels of reducing the price of its latest iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus due to poor sales. Now, the company has taken the decision to stop selling the older-gen iPhone 4s and the budget-friendly iPhone 5c smartphones in the country.

On Wednesday, Apple stopped selling the older-gen iPhone 4s and iPhone 5c through its official channels.

Apple's withdrawing the entry-level iPhone 4s and iPhone 5c from India is seen as the company's move to increase the average selling price of its products, so that the company can enhance its profitability. The decision was taken by Apple as the ASP and profitability was "under strain."

"It's a step to improve the ASP (average selling price) which was falling since iPhone 4s was till recently one of their highest selling model in India due to its lower price," divulged Pulkit Baid, director at Great Eastern, a consumer electronics retail chain in eastern India.

In Q4 2015, the ASP for Apple declined 20 percent year-over-year per figures from Counterpoint Research.

Apple retailed the iPhone 4s and the iPhone 5c for Rs. 12,000 ($175) and Rs. 20,000 (approximately $292), respectively, in India. With the departure of these two phones from the country, the iPhone 5s is currently the cheapest Apple smartphone available in India. The smartphone costs Rs. 24,000 (approximately $349.90). Apple even already slashed the iPhone 5s's price by nearly half in December 2015 in the country in a bid to lure more consumers and leverage the brand.

Apple India's website has been updated to reflect that the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5c are not listed for sale anymore. The site only shows that the iPhone 6s models, iPhone 6 models and the iPhone 5s are available in the country.

Analysts who are conversant with the dynamics of the Indian consumer space estimate that the iPhone 5s will fill the void left by iPhone 4s and iPhone 5c. These models were long withdrawn from major markets such as Europe and the U.S., and now India follows suit.

With the transition, OEMs from China and Samsung will be able to push their Android-powered offerings to gain a slice of the Indian market share in the lower price segment between Rs 10,000 (nearly $150) to Rs 20,000 ($175).

Apple is also anticipated to launch the next-gen iPhone 5se in the coming months, possibly March 2016, and the company may have withdrawn the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5c smartphones to lay the groundwork for the new budget phone's arrival.

Photo : Maurizio Pesce | Flickr

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