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Apple starts iPhone payment plans, makes retail deals to grow India's smartphone market

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China is no longer an emerging market at this point. It's now the top market in the world for smartphones, and Apple has worked hard to get a foothold in early. So now that China is covered, where's Apple headed to next? India seems to be the answer, as Apple has slashed prices and implemented payment plans in that country, aiming to get the brand there before the market reaches full maturity.

India has long been watched by the tech industry as an emerging opportunity. Salaries are rising as smartphone and other technology get cheaper, which makes for a lot of people with money to spend are looking for tech to buy. And so Apple has been making big plans there, adding local distributors, making deals with retailers and providing a big marketing push designed to move people up from cheaper cell phones into the mid-level smartphone market.

iPhone shipments to India have tripled over the last quarter or so as well, so the company is definitely expecting an increase in sales. Apple CEO Tim Cook says, however, that India isn't the first country on Apple's list as an emerging market. Still, you take opportunities where you can get them, and it certainly seems like India is on the verge of becoming a real smartphone market juggernaut.

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