Apple is expected to unveil a less-expensive iPhone at its March 21 event as a way to reach untapped developing mobile markets, analysts say.
"This phone is a gateway into India," said Brian Blair, principal and co-founder at Grays Peak Capital, in a phone interview.
The Indian smartphone market is as important as China's smartphone market was 10 years ago, Blair said. And the lower the new iPhone's price, the better Apple can compete with the likes of Samsung, LG and Huawei, Blair said.
Samsung dominates the global smartphone market with a 19.5 percent share versus Apple's 17.9 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Counterpoint Research.