Apple's iPhone 4, which was released by Airtel and Aircel in India 11 months after its international launch, is more expensive here than anywhere else on earth.
There was a time when handset giants used to launch their products in international markets first and then bring the products to India after one or two years, but now things are changing, with companies increasingly launching their handsets in India simultaneously or within a couple of months of the product's international launch.
Users in India would have loved to see the iPhone 4 launched in India at the same time as abroad, but better late than never: Apple iPhone 4 was released here courtesy Airtel and Aircel on May 27, almost a year after it was launched in international markets.
Aircel and Airtel are following an interesting strategy to market the phone, which amounts to a reverse subsidy. The iPhone 4 is priced at Rs 34,500 for the 16 GB model and nearly Rs 40,900 for the 32 GB model. You will have to pay the full price of the phone upfront; but can recover its cost if you stick to the same carrier (Aircel or Airtel) for two years.
You can, however, choose another carrier if you so desire. You can insert a micro-SIM card from carriers who provide it, such as Airtel and Aircel in India. At the same time, only GSM cards are supported by iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4 was launched by AT&T in the USA in June 2010. New users could get the iPhone without a contract for about $600 (Rs 27,000) or $700 (about Rs 31,500), for the 16 GB and 32 GB versions, respectively.
However, existing customers of AT&T can get the 16 GB version of the iPhone 4 for just $200 (Rs 9,000), or 32 GB for $300 (about Rs 13,500). This offer is also available for those users who already have an iPhone but want to upgrade to iPhone 4. Upgraders will have to pay more than $400 (about Rs 18,000) or $500 (about Rs 22,500), and will be bound by a two year contract with AT&T.
Users can also buy their iPhone 4 through Verizon at similar price points. Verizon's network is CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) based, hence data and voice cannot be used on the phone simultaneously.
In European countries such as the UK, France and Germany, the 16 GB version of the iPhone 4 is priced at 500 pounds (about Rs 37,000); whereas the 32 GB version costs 600 pounds (about Rs 44,500). These prices are for unbundled iPhone 4 devices, which means users can pick the carrier of their choice and choose their data plan accordingly. There are some bundled plans as well.
Australia and Japan
Just like in the rest of the world, iPhone 4 has become quite a rage in Australia as well. Users there have to pay Australian $860 (about Rs 41,500) for a 16 GB iPhone 4, and Australian $1,000 (about Rs 48,000) for 32 GB.
But here the iPhone 4 is not only available unlocked; it is also the telecos that are offering it without any contract, thus making it more expensive in India than anywhere else in the world. The major companies offering iPhone 4 in Australia are Vodafone, 3 and Telstra.
Japanese users have the option of paying 57,600 Yen (about Rs 32,000) for the 32 GB model or 46,080 Yen (about Rs 25,600) for the 16 GB model. The carriers offering iPhone 4 in Japan include NTT Docomo, Softbank and eAccess.
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