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iPhone 4 a hot commodity in India thanks to new trade-in plan


One of the most untouched markets in the world for smartphones is India, and Apple has quickly leaped to second place in the market by using a very smart pricing workaround. As noted on Electronista, Apple is now using a trade-in promotion with resellers that has tripled sales in less than a week.

In India, contracts on mobile phones are rare and customers have to pay up-front for the full cost of the phone in addition to their regular cell service plan. Since income levels in India are somewhat lower than those in more developed markets, smartphones tend to be a product that people hold on to due to the cost.

The Apple plan provides a discount of about 7,000 Rupees (about US$129) off of the $488 price tag of an iPhone 4 if a buyer trades in an old smartphone. The used phones are then refurbished for sale in India's thriving used-phone market, which gives the resellers a way to make back the discounted price while moving merchandise. Apple has also recently implemented iPhone payment plans in India, making it easier for customers to spread out the up-front cost of a new phone.

The trade-in plan is so successful that archrival Samsung has apparently jumped on the bandwagon in order to achieve a similar sales bounce. As Electronica noted, "Samsung, true to form, quickly copied the plan right down to the details shortly after it was unveiled."

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