Indian consumers, who have waited for months to own the iconic 3G-enabled Apple iPhone, will have to pay Rs 31,000 for the entry-level 8GB memory mobile phone and Rs 36,100 for a model with double the memory.
Both Vodafone and Airtel will be launching the iPhone on August 22 and industry experts say bookings and pre-launch interest suggest that they would be able to sell over 100,000 phones in the next 12 months. Companies like Vodafone, which opened bookings for the phones in July, have already received booking requests of over 10,000 phones.
The domestic price, however, is much steeper than the US price. The handset is available for $199 (Rs 8,358) in the US, plus $99 (Rs 4,158) as an annual contract with the telecom company since the handsets are linked to the service provider.
These lower prices are possible because of the large subsidies that service providers are willing to provide to woo customers. In India however, neither company will offer a subsidy.
However, the non-3G Apple iPhone — which was launched by the company earlier — is available in the Indian grey market at around Rs 20,000, down from Rs 24,000 a few months ago. Grey market operators are now also cracking the codes for the 3G Apple iPhone and said it would be priced Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 cheaper than the Vodafone or Airtel price points. Second-hand 2G iPhones are available for around Rs 15,000.
The 3G iPhone will have faster downloads, an in-built GPS system and direct connections to YouTube, among other features.
Meanwhile, leading handset makers like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung have stepped up their R&D efforts to introduce feature-rich phones in India to compete with iPhones.