Amid rumours that a cheaper iPhone is in the pipeline at Apple to address emerging markets, a new report has claimed that the company is planning to triple the amount of exclusive Apple retail stores in India by 2015.

The Economic Times reports that three of Apple's dedicated franchisees, who chose to remain anonymous, have confirmed that Apple plans to have a total of 200 exclusive stores, up from the 65 it has now, in India by 2015. Exclusive stores are third-party resellers that sell only Apple products, and are not company-owned Apple Stores.

The sources also noted that Apple plans to expand its presence in multi-brand stores too.

iPhone and iPads sales have seen an increase in India recently, which is said to be the driving force behind Apple's decision to explore the country as a new growth market.


"After the success of the iPhone, Apple has finally realised that India is a big market and needs separate focus," an anonymous Mumbai-based Apple franchisee told The Economic Times.

It has been speculated that Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone to address emerging markets such as India, so the company's reported decision to expand its retail presence there could be seen as evidence towards this theory.

Just yesterday, we reported that multiple analysts have reiterated beliefs that Apple will unveil a low cost iPhone with a plastic chassis and a non-Retina display this year.

MORE: Low-cost iPhone mini release date, rumours and leaked images

See also:

'Apple should make cheaper iPhone' says former CEO John Sculley

iTV rumours: Apple's 4K Ultra HD television set to arrive late 2013 or early 2014

iPhone snares ninth straight top satisfaction ranking

iPhone 6 rumour rollup: digital pens, 3D augmented reality and a 'killer feature'