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  • iPhone 3GS Finally Coming to India

    India has more cell phones than any other country except for China. However, the country has few iPhones, due to the high price relative to Nokia handsets, which have captured the small but growing smartphone market in the world's second largest country. However, finally - nine months after the device's worldwide launch - the iPhone 3GS will be available in India through the country's largest wireless carrier, Bharti Airtel.

    Apple has been slow to make deals in India, where cutthroat competition between carriers is common and profits are cut to the bone, leaving very little room for the types of arrangements Apple favors. The iPhone came to India only in August 2008 when a deal with Airtel finally made the iPhone 3G available to Indian consumers. But the lack of carrier subsidy for the device keeping prices high and the absence of a nationwide 3G data network (even EDGE coverage is spotty) have hampered sales. Apple eventually added a second carrier, Vodafone, but that carrier charges extra for data usage, making the iPhone even less of an attractive option for their customers. Also, iPhone users on either Airtel or Vodafone can't use Visual Voicemail on their phones, and iTunes is not available for music downloads, only apps.

    Airtel announced on Friday that it had made a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone 3GS in India at some point “in the coming months," without elaborating. According to the Airtel website, the 8GB iPhone 3G will still be available, with 16GB and 32GB variants of the iPhone 3GS, going on sale at the carrier's retail stores only.

    The iPhone 3GS will be sold without a contract, but will be baseband-locked to Airtel’s network, so existing iPhone 3G users can just swap their Airtel SIM into the new device but new buyers must buy an Airtel service plan to go with their phone. Pricing has not been announced, but the 8GB 3G model currently sells for over 30,000 rupees or greater than $700 US, while 16GB iPhones cost Rs36,000. Unlocked phones are available on the grey market for as little as Rs20,000.

    The only 3G network operators in India are the government-owned BSNL and MTNL carriers. The government was supposed to hold auctions for 3G spectrum licenses a number of times in the past couple of years but they have repeatedly been delayed for various reasons. Currently scheduled for April, the auction will award licenses to carriers, taking effect in September, to operate 3G networks throughout India. Both Airtel and Vodafone have applied for licenses.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone 3GS Finally Coming to India started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 34 Comments
    1. ncnyxx13's Avatar
      ncnyxx13 -
      anyone else find the iPhone picture in the article weird?
      1. That is the original iPhone (silver back and black buttons)
      2. The power button is on the wrong side, also the headphone jack is on the wrong side
      3. The mirror image on the bottom is of album art view on the iPod

      Next time try to cover up your ignorance of knowledge please at least try to do some research and get it right first.
      Thank you
    1. rickybobby's Avatar
      rickybobby -
      so are we to say that picture does match that phone that is old in india because it don't look like mine or any else i know maybe just a bad photoshop guys
    1. dhruvmalik's Avatar
      dhruvmalik -
      I think this is a Major Fail from Airtel to launch it just when the next model is coming out. Especially since they will price it above 30K. Thats $600.00, I could pick up the next version for that much being on ATT and traveling to India for work a lot.
    1. punjabi212's Avatar
      punjabi212 -
      bbrruuahhhhhh to all ya fellow punjabis
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      well good for india to finally get the iphone
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      One country at a time. iPhone is taking over the world.
    1. sllmhjn's Avatar
      sllmhjn -
      although its good that we'll finally have 3gs launched here but what a fail it's gonna be, especially when a new iphone is just around the corner. Pricing of this phone has always been an issue in India, especially when 3g speeds and Apple support are a matter of concern. 3gs is easily available in the grey markets. You ain't gonna get Apple support neways.
    1. vamshivasanthr's Avatar
      vamshivasanthr -
      due to delay in auction of 3g networks to private carriers(like hutch vodafone, airtel, aircell, tata, ect....), the apple's phone(i feel better in web surfing) is dalayed in India
    1. hapishyguy's Avatar
      hapishyguy -
      India is the 2nd largest in the world for cell phone usage and consumption. Since its a open economy and no laws there is not scarce for Iphone. Remember China is very close to India. Whole of the asia and europe is united and america is the only continent that is seperated from the rest of the world in terms of laws and other things. Rest of the world turns a switch down to turn the light on and US turns it up. As if it runs a parallel universe.
      So, the point is that people in India change cell phones like clothes. Even my friends in India change their cell phone every week. They give the old one and buy the new one and pay the balance. You go to sony ericsson store, nokia store, samsung store, motorola store etc they all do it.
      India has a market of its own. Nokia is more popular in India and its widely available. Even a homeless has a cell phone in India guys! lolz!
      Iphone market will pickup but slowly. Also to consider that data plans are not very popular in general public, only in corporate sectors. So if company wants to sell (if apple pushes it) phone with a new contract with data plan then it wont be much successful.
      Dont worry, they will comes out with jailbroke and other stuff very soon.
      Its a lot of competition in India that US market. US market is controlled by companies but Indian market is not.
      So lets see how soon iPhone gets popular

      I am going to visit India very soon and I will try to use my 3gs there. Let's see.
    1. vamshivasanthr's Avatar
      vamshivasanthr -
      wat u said is right(hapishguy), most of them change their phones frequently, sticking on to selected(govt., bsnl..etc) carrier for apple,this may not work in India, as far as their is no auction to private carriers(hutch vodafone, airtell, tata...etc)their wont be much use of 3g mobiles in india,
    1. B19's Avatar
      B19 -
      Quote Originally Posted by vikas3saraswat View Post
      It's SAD!!!!
      One of the biggest IT Professionals producer country in the world,But very poor technology over there.
      The companies rip off the customers.
      Did you really just say that the paki on the other end of the phone line reading what a computer tells them to say is a professional? They are just cheap labor, don't kid yourself Parminder. IT Professional..... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA i think not
    1. BenjaminRosenthal's Avatar
      BenjaminRosenthal -
      Hi, This is Ben from India. Can anybody help me finding "Phonebook SIM card" in India, specifically in Gujarat. I need the "Phonebook SIM card" to activate my iPhone.


    1. vish265's Avatar
      vish265 -
      Quote Originally Posted by BenjaminRosenthal View Post
      Hi, This is Ben from India. Can anybody help me finding "Phonebook SIM card" in India, specifically in Gujarat. I need the "Phonebook SIM card" to activate my iPhone.


      check out ebay india
    1. BenjaminRosenthal's Avatar
      BenjaminRosenthal -
      Not available on ebay :-(. Thanks for .the help mate