Apple Inc, the world's second-largest smart phone maker has signed a deal with Reliance Communications to boost sagging sales of its iPhones through the mobile handset subsidy model in India.
Under the scheme, the 16 GB iPhone 5c, priced without subsidy at Rs41,900, will be available for a monthly fee of Rs2,500 while the 5s, priced at Rs53,500, will be on offer for around Rs2,800 a month.
The 32GB version will come with an upfront fee of Rs10,000 in addition to the monthly charges.
The 64GB model, priced at Rs71,500 off the shelf, will be on offer for an upfront fee of Rs18,000.
Rcom will offer unlimited voice calls, SMS and 3G data at the fixed monthly fee provided the subscriber is locked into RCom's network under a two-year contract.
Although Apple has been trying to convince operators for a while on the benefits of the subsidy model, this is the first time that it has tied up with an Indian service provider to subsidise an iPhone.
Indian operators have been staying away from this model fearing that subscribers may dishonour the contract by unlocking the phone for use on another operator's network or to resell it in the grey market.
RCom, however, has restricted the subsidy offer to credit card users. The onus of subscriber verification will thus be on partner banks, that include ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.
While iPhones are available through equated monthly instalments, RCom has sweetened the offer by bundling in unlimited voice and data plans along with the device for a two-year period.
Rival operator Airtel will also start selling the new iPhones from 1 November.