Apple Cupertino headquarters

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is locking horns with rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930) over selling discounted phones exclusively on the online e-commerce site, Amazon India. Apple reduced the price of the iPhones 5c, one of its slowest selling models, by 30% followed by Samsung, which is now offering 23% discount on its Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Big sales push for Apple, Samsung

As reported by Economic Times, both the companies have sold almost 1 lakh units of their flagships i.e. iPhone 5c and Galaxy S4 online. The sale of 1 lakh units of their phones has been the biggest ever, through a single point of sales, for both the companies. Such a strategy reflects the companies’ effort to liquidate the unsold inventory of their phone models.

According to analysts, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930) had an insignificant presence in the Rs 15000-20000 segment, which it took care of by providing Galaxy S4 at Rs 17,999 (around $300) on Amazon India. Also, Apple slashed the price of its iPhone 5c to Rs 22,990 (around $380) to replace the iPhone 4 in the market.

In regard with this, a senior trade partner at Samsung claimed that the decision to choose Amazon as a sales channel was aimed at preparing the company for its latest Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which were released in the market on Monday.

Growing popularity of e-commerce in India

Contemplating the Amazon-exclusive sales strategy of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung, analysts inferred that the program proves that e-commerce in India has become lucrative and mature enough to entice two of the largest smartphone companies. Moreover, both the brands have sold considerable amount of handsets in the country, which in turn, will increase their market as well.

Further, the analysts note that more online-only deals are going to be available this year, and the contribution of e-commerce to smartphone sales in India is expected to increase to 30% in 2015 compared to 14% last year.

As per the latest data available, Samsung rules the Indian smartphone market though its market share is being challenged by Micromax. Also, in the Rs 20000 plus category, Samsung is leading followed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which contributes about third of the smartphones sales in the Indian market.