The new-generation iPhone, which was bought by 1-million customers within three day of its global launch in June, will be available in India from August 22.
The country’s two largest GSM operators, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar, on Wednesday announced that they will begin selling the new model in select outlets from that date.
While the two GSM companies have not revealed pricing for the phone, industry sources said it could be between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000. Outside India, this 3G-enabled iPhone model is available for as little as Rs 8,000, but this is a bundled offer which mandates that subscribers stick with the operator for 24 months after buying the phone.
For instance, in the US, Apple is pricing the new iPhone at $199 for the 8GB version and $299 for the 16 GB version, which is nearly 50% cheaper than the earlier version. In the UK, Apple has said that the 8GB handset will cost £99 ($194), but subscribers will need a monthly tariff of £30 or £35 to avail of this offer. ET has learnt that Bharti and Vodafone will not adopt this bundling model in India.
Bharti and Vodafone had opened up bookings for the latest version of the iPhone about two months ago. Both telcos did not reveal as to how many subscribers have signed up for this handset so far. The new iPhone, combines all the revolutionary features of the earlier version with 3G networking, which is twice as fast as the first-generation iPhone.
The new iPhone features built-in GPS for expanded location-based mobile services and iPhone 2.0 software, which supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and hundreds of third-party applications.
The catch is that 3G services are not likely to be available in India until mid ’09. 3G services involves high-end offerings on the mobile such as ultra-fast internet, downloads of movies, music and video clips and video conferencing among others.
“iPhone has been an iconic technological revelation of this year,” Bharti Airtel’s president for mobile services Sanjay Kapoor said in a statement.
The move to partner Airtel and Vodafone marks a major shift in Apple’s global strategy of ‘one country-one operator’. But with India emerging as the fastest-growing cellular market, analysts said Apple would want to tie up with all leading operators to maximise growth and revenues. Airtel and Vodafone have a subscriber base of over 220 million.
The earlier version of the iPhone has been available in the grey market in India for about a year now. Industry estimates peg the number of such devices in India at a whopping 5-6 lakh. Dealers in Mumbai and Delhi started selling it soon after it was launched in the US last year.
But there is a reason i think u shouldn’t buy a i-phone.
Sources : www.economictimes.com