To many happy gadget-hungry customers surprise, the iPhone 4 has finally launched in India almost a year after it was made available in the US. The phone took an unnaturally long time to come to one of the biggest countries in the world (from a telecommunications perspective). With a subscriber base of more than 800 million, one wonders whether Apple is right to consider it a low priority country.
The iPhone 4, so far being sold in India only through the grey market, boasts numerous improvements over its predecessor. Upgrades include an entirely new form factor, an improved version of iOS and a better 5 MP camera, among other hardware upgrades. It’ll be interesting to see whether many users will go for the iPhone 4 when, given Apple’s annual upgrade cycle, it is probable that the iPhone 5 will be announced soon.
The impending announcement of the iPhone 5 is not the only thing that sours the deal. The device is fairly pricey, as well. India currently doesn’t have a system of contract-based service, but Apple seems determined to change just that. The iPhone 4 “market” is composed of two telecom companies – Airtel and Aircel – both bringing the phone to India. Both are offering two year contracts at Rs. 1000 per month (a little above $20), when many consumers don’t spend more than Rs 600 on their bill (many pay as little as Rs. 200 with prepaid cards…usage charges in India are among the lowest in the world). Off contract, the phone is available at Rs. 34,500 ($764) 16 GB version and Rs. 40,900 ($905) for the 32 GB version. In contrast, Nokia, a much-trusted brand in India, sells the N8 and the E7 at Rs. 23,000 ($509) and Rs. 27,000 ($598) respectively.
Nokia, meanwhile, isn’t satisfied simply by the price advantage. On a day when both companies offering the iPhone ran full page ads on the front pages of major newspapers, Nokia took the other prominent spots (like the back page) to run their own ads. Their tagline “iDoalotmore” (I do a lot more) mocks the iPhone and the Apple trend to put an “I” before every product name. Nokia even invited its users to visit their site at Nokia.co.in/iDoalotmore to find out how they can achieve more with the Nokia than an iPhone. We are not certain whether this is a sign of Nokia’s wariness about iPhone eating into its market share, but we certainly found it a bit humorous. (Psst…The image names on the website are prefixed with “iPhone_fightback”).
There’s certainly no stopping those who prefer the attractiveness and user-friendliness of the iPhone over the usability of feature-packed Nokia. If you live in India, you can get your hands on the iPhone 4 now, that’s if you haven’t already gotten one imported from elsewhere.
- White iPhone 4 Finally Available On Apple Retail Stores, Verizon and AT&T
- iPhone 5 (4S) Speculation: Next iPhone To Be Called iPhone 4S Will Support Sprint And T-Mobile
- Verizon Wireless To Discontinue Unlimited iPhone Data Plans
- How To Jailbreak iPhone 4 With Redsn0w 0.9.6rc9?
- RIM Recalls At Least 900 BlackBerry PlayBooks Tablets