iPhone seems to be everywhere with news channels, newspapers and almost all Indian mobile blogs talking about it with anticipated breath. Yes, August 22 2008 is THE day when the iPhone will officially be available in India through 2 major network operators Airtel and Vodaphone.
Apparently the 8GB 3G version has been steeply priced at Rs. 31,000 (approx $700) and the 16GB model at Rs. 36,000 (approx. $820).
The pricing is completely not convincing because if I compare it to it’s availability in other countries, it is far more cheaper outside India with better tariff plans. For instance (via Macworld), O2 in UK introduced the 8GB model for £99, and the 16GB model for just £159 with regular tariffs of £35. In US too the 8GB is available for $199 plus $99 for a one year contract with the network operator and the 16GB is available for $299.
In India, the grey market already has the iPhone selling at Rs. 20,000 (approx $450), and there have been many buyers at this price, but do we really see it taking off through the operator pricing? We also need to consider that 3G is yet to make it’s entry into India.
Well, it is best to wait and watch what happens with the launch tomorrow. Will we see queues of people waiting to grab their piece? Will people really be satisfied with the phone after the price they pay for it? Will there be comparisons with other handheld devices like the Blackberry and the HTC which are extremely popular with the executives/corporates/business people here? Will I be buying the iPhone? I can answer this one…it’s no for now, but I might go for it in the coming weeks.