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Apple slashes iPhone 5s price in India by almost half

Apple on Monday cut the price of the iPhone 5s in India down to 24,999 rupees ($372), a sharp reduction from the 44,500 rupees ($663) the device was selling for in September.

Today's cut actually marks the third time in three months Apple has adjusted prices, according to the Times of India. Apple's earlier cuts took place around the Hindu festivals of Dussehra and Diwali.

The 5s is said to represent almost half of iPhone sales in the country.

The latest cut is part of an Apple plan to double Indian sales during the December quarter, the Times' trade sources said. An executive at an unidentified local cellphone chain noted that by targeting the 16,000-27,000 rupee price band, Apple can gain leverage on Samsung's similarly-priced A- and E-series phones, which haven't been updated recently.

Until relatively recently Apple has struggled to gain marketshare in India, where the triple threat of high import taxes, a weak currency, and low wages compared to the West often prices iPhones out of people's hands. The iPhone 6s started at 62,000 rupees —or about $955 —when it launched in India this October, making it a full $306 more expensive than in the U.S.

The company's surge in India during the past year has ben attributed primarily to discounts, buybacks, and installment options, but also due to a wider reseller network. The iPhone is dwarfed however by devices from Samsung and Micromax, which are typically more affordable.