iPhone 3G to be launched in India Next Month : Uncertainity over Price

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iPhone 3G to be launched in India Next Month : Uncertainity over Price

Post by Rahul on Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:35 pm

According to TT.com


Here we have it folks, an exclusive on the iPhone's availability in India. When, how much, what features, software -- everything you ever wanted to know about the iPhone 3G in India! We know you want to get to the meat of the matter, so without further ado, here's what you need to know:




> iPhone 3G Availability: Vodafone to have a 15 day launch advantage (available August '08 through Vodafone, and late Aug/September '08 through Airtel)









> Model: Initially, the 8GB version only


> Price: Rs. 11,500 to Rs. 12,000 (note: U.S. price of the 8GB iPhone 3G is $199)


> Applications: App Store will be available


> App prices: Application prices may see a revision to suit Indian market


> 3G: No fixed date for 3G availability; expected sometime later this year


> GPS: Present on the Indian version as well


> Grey-market availability: Almost nowhere to be seen. One store expects to sell it next week at Rs. 50,000


Scroll down for the rest of the story.






While we all await the release of the iPhone 3G in India, some questions are pressing. In many ways, the iPhone is a platform - a means and a tool to unlock far greater features through new and sundry
software. Until recently, the only means of installing software not produced by Apple was through illegal avenues. Now though, with the launch of the App Store, Apple has brought third-party software
under a legal umbrella. Thus, the first question is this: will we, in India, get access to the same App Store that the people in the U.S. and other western countries enjoy? Further, would pricing be in Rupees or would we need to pay in Dollars? What about 3G - a feature so central to the iPhone that it's part of its name, its identity - will the iPhone be released along with 3G coverage?


To put it simply, will the iPhone offer the same value proposition in India, as it does abroad? We try and answer some of these burning questions here in this ........ exclusive.


We contacted the necessary parties at Apple, Vodafone and Airtel - the latter being iPhone's official carriers in India - to get the required answers. While Apple and Vodafone were tight-lipped about
release details, we struck gold with Airtel. Our source at Airtel, who wishes to remain anonymous, gave us valuable insight. Most of it, good news.


According to our source, the iPhone 3G will bring along most of the software goodies that are available in the West. In fact, the source went on to add, some of the features will be customized to suit
the Indian tariff. The source confirmed that we would also be able to purchase software from the App Store with a possibly of a revised price for the Indian consumer, quickly adding that the price revision is not set in stone.






Let's move on to the meat of the matter - when will the iPhone be available in India?


When I last spoke to our source from Airtel, I was told that the iPhone 3G launch was scheduled for the 25th of August, with the caveat that the date may be pushed to early September for supply reasons. Apparently, the number of pre-orders for the iPhone have exceeded the initial product allotment by Apple.


Interestingly, our source from Airtel confirmed that Vodafone will be the first to introduce the iPhone 3G in India, with a 15-day launch advantage over Airtel, thanks to Vodafone's global tie-ups. If we are
to believe Airtel, Vodafone should introduce the iPhone 3G by end of August at least. That's only a month from now!


So does this mean Vodafone will get to gorge on the subscription of maximum number of iPhone-hungry Indians due to the company's first-in-line advantage? Is the iPhone 3G is likely to become a "Vodafone product"?


One would obviously like to think so, but Airtel differs on this aspect. Our source assertively stated that Vodafone hasn't been able to create the kind of impact on the prospective iPhone buyers as Airtel
has with its aggressive marketing. The latter added, "We will make sure we don t downplay them (Vodafone), but we will create an impact of our own."





There has been a lot of speculation over the price of the iPhone. Initially, only the 8 GB version of the iPhone 3G will be officially launched in India. The handset is expected to cost between Rs. 11,500 and Rs. 12,000, says our source. Compare this to the $199 price tag of the 8GB version in the U.S, and it's obvious that India is once again going to feel the import-duty pinch. Moreover, this price does not include the data plan costs that a user will have to bear every month, the details of which will
only be out by the 15th of August, our source indicated. There are still deliberations being made on the specifics of the plan, we were told.


If you want the iPhone 3G right away, you need to look to the grey market. The scene there isn't all rosy though, with rumors flying of Airtel and Vodafone clamping down on parallel imports. The market-reality seemed to lend credence to these rumors as most vendors we contacted told us that the iPhone (old model or new) was unavailable for purchase. One Mr. Munshi Adnan, owner of a shop called "Gadgets" at
Heera Panna, in Mumbai, promises to offer the iPhone 3G next week. He claimed to have it around July 28th, and quoted a princely sum of Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000!






While all of the above is largely good news, the bad news comes in the garb of the key feature: 3G. Nobody seemed willing to place a date on 3G availability in India, the arrival of which is still a rather
nebulous 'sometime late this year'. We have a bad feeling about this. Our source did confirm though that GPS (a feature through which the iPhone 3G can track your location) would be a present in the Indian
avatar of the Apple iPhone 3G.
So there you have it! Mostly good news for those of us who have waited for the release date of this product.


What are your thoughts on the price, the model, the software availability, the lack of clarity on 3G

& According to T2.com

The exact arrival date and the price of the iPhone 3G has been a pretty well-kept secret so far. But now via our contact in Vodafone (who wish to remain anonymous) we can confirm that the iPhone 3G will be coming to India to Vodafone as soon as the end this month or early August 2008.

As for the pricing, all we know is that itís not going to be a direct conversion of the US price to Rupees.


With regard to availability, since Airtel and Vodafone have been allowing preorders, itís quite possible that the entries they have received will quite easily surpass the quantity they get. Our source at Vodafone said that depending on how the first few days' sales pan out they will order more devices from the UK.

The pricing of the product is still unclear but one thing is clear for sure its coming to India & soon, maybe by July end or by August End .
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Re: iPhone 3G to be launched in India Next Month : Uncertainity over Price

Post by Rahul on Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:42 pm

So after much digging, we've got information on the official date for the India launch of the iPhone 3G.

Vodafone will launch the iPhone 3G first on the 18th of August. Pricing and other essentials are still unknown. But worry not, we at Tech India will keep you posted. You'll know as soon as we do.
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