Moneymanagement’s Weblog

Iphone anyone?…naaah

Posted in interesting by moneymanagement on August 23, 2008

The launch of the iconic handset in India had “none of the mass hysteria” that accompanied its debut in the US, Europe and other parts of Asia in July. Priced at $700-$800 in India, or twice the monthly salary of a white collar middle manager, the iPhone response was predicted. Still, it was an “enthusiastic reception,” and for those who can afford it, the phone gives them bragging rights in a country where mobile phones are still seen as “symbols of status and success,” and where the phone has already enjoyed a strong run in the black market.

While India may be amongst the hottest markets for Apple’s iPhone 3G, the country presents several unique challenges which the US-based multinational will have to address before it can succeed here. Not just Apple, but its partners in India—Bharti Airtel and Vodafone—will have to play their roles to perfection for their customers to enjoy the iPhone.

India is amongst the few markets where the partner telcos are spending huge sums training thousands of their employees to activate the iPhone. This because, unlike their western counterparts, Indian customers cannot be expected to activate the phone online. Low internet and PC penetration is a roadblock here and even amongst those in metros and large cities who own PCs, only a small minority have Apple’s iTunes on their systems.

The midnight launch of iPhone by Vodafone Essar will be accompanied by offer for payment in easy installments by credit cards.

The GSM giant has tied-up with credit card-issuing banks including Barclays, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank for providing instalment option to iPhone customers.

EMIs will be of six months and 12 months duration. To begin with, Vodafone will sell the 3G iPhone, priced at Rs 31,000 for 8GB version and Rs 36,100 for 16GB version, in 50 cities through 250 stores.

The black market version has been available for around ages though.

With a price tag of $700, or about three times the US retail price the junta is expecting the prices to come down so there is a wait and watch being adopted.

Meanwhile if you cannot wait there are always credit card instalments.

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