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Apple turns to the iPhone 6 to boost India sales

How can Apple make iPhones more affordable without hurting brand power? Bring back a blast from the past.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

When it comes to selling phones in India, Apple has a conundrum: Indians need inexpensive phones, but Apple's products are all premium.

To solve this problem, the company has resurrected the iPhone 6 in the country, selling a 32GB variant of the 2014 phone through online retailers. This follows the model being discontinued in the country with the iPhone 7's launch.

The iPhone 6, only available in Space Gray, went up for sale on Amazon on Monday. It retails for around 30,000 rupees, which converts to $450. It's a big reduction from the iPhone 6S, which is priced from $750 in India.

India is a key phone market, eclipsing the US in sales in recent years. For the first time, the country will even get its own Mobile Congress this year. However, Apple's footprint in the country is relatively small, with the company selling 2.5 million iPhones in India last year.

Most smartphones sold in the country are priced around or under $150, with only a fraction of the country's billion-plus citizens able to afford an iPhone. To help lower costs and boost its presence in the growing market, Apple will soon open its own stores and manufacture there.

Apple hasn't only brought back the iPhone 6 in India, having recently begun selling the phone in China and Taiwan as well.

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