While Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to have gotten away with its higher-than-expected price of the iPhone 5C in the U.S. and China, the high cost of the device will hit the company where it hurts in India, according to a report from Bloomberg.
In India, carriers don’t offer subsidies on devices with a contract signing, as is common in the United States. India has the cheapest call rates in the world, making device subsidies impossible for wireless carriers there. The iPhone 5C, which hasn’t yet been released in India, starts at around $549, which would put the device out of reach for most Indians.
India is the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world, so Apple is essentially excluding itself from participating in that growth with its refusal to make a real low-cost device. According to research from IDC cited by Bloomberg, the below $200 segment of the smartphone market is the fastest-growing area of the market in India. India is also expected to overtake the U.S. as the second-largest smartphone market, behind China, by 2017.