Apple is having a tough time selling the iPhone SE in the Indian market, where the 4-inch handset made its debut for ₹39,000. Barely a few thousand units were sold in the country according to retailer estimates, and a major reason for sluggish sales is due to the cost of the handset, which is higher than the price of a 16GB iPhone 6. Apple's looking to rectify the situation not by bringing down the retail price of the SE, but by raising the prices of the iPhone 6 and 6s by as much as 29%.

Citing an anonymous source, ET Tech said:

It was felt that SE, which was criticized for having a 'high price tag', will not be able to see much traction if prices of bigger-sized iPhone 6 and 6S devices are not corrected. So, the decision was taken to revise the price upwards.

The iPhone 5s, which is still on sale in India, saw a modest price hike as well, and is now offered for ₹22,000 instead of ₹18,000. The iPhone 6 was selling for a discounted ₹31,000, but the price of the phone has been "revised" to ₹40,000. The iPhone 6s has seen a similar correction from ₹40,500 to ₹48,000. It looks like the price hike was designed to create a buffer between the SE and the larger iPhone 6 and 6s:

After the revision, iPhone 6 costs Rs 40,000 and 6S comes for Rs 48,000. We are trying to build a healthy buffer.

It looks like Apple is working hard to position the phone better in the Indian market:

The stock of SE was in any case kept at a low level. A strategy is being worked out to pitch the device more effectively.

However, that may not work given the diminutive 4-inch form factor, as Indians have a preference for large-screened phones as they're better suited for media consumption:

Another problem for SE in India is the small screen size. Indians are increasingly buying larger screen-sized phones, even at the lower-end of the market. A lot of data is consumed on smart devices and smaller ones do not find much favour with buyers

What do you guys think of the price hike of the iPhone 6 and 6s?