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Expected Price of Airtel and Vodafone iPhone in India

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The blogosphere has been buzzing with news about the iPhone’s India launch. People have been hugely anticipating the pricing of the iPhone in India. Here’s what the Economic Times has to say. Apple iPhoneWe know that the iPhone will be priced at $199 in the USA, but what many of us do not know is that this is a subsidised price that Apple and AT&T have worked out. Going by market researcher iSuppli, each iPhone has been subsidised to the extent of $300! This subsidised rate is made up through higher call and SMS rates. What that means for us is that we may not be seeing Airtel and Vodafone’s iPhone priced at Rs. 8000, not with SMS and call rates in India being one of the cheapest in the world (with plans to decrease even further). The price may instead be at around Rs. 21,000. So would you be willing to pay 21,000 bucks for the new 8GB iPhone 3G when it hits Indian shores?

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Santosh

Gamer, Audiophile, Avid Blogger and yes, a Student too. Pakka Bangalorean!

Comments (32)

  • Avatar

    Avi`

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    The only reason that Apple tied up with Airtel and Vodafone in India and many others in other nations was so that they can subsidize the iPHONE! This way, they also get to share a lot of premium from the carrier as well!

    Avi`

    Reply

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    Pranav

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    Woah! No way I’m gonna get an iPhone outta my parent’s pockets. Might have to earn and get it. By that time, something better would have come.

    Right now, I’m satisfied with the Nokia 1200 I won in the IOC Car in a Tank offer :P

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Aalaap Ghag

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    Rs. 21,000 sounds too low. I’m expecting it to cost upwards of Rs. 30,000. Think about it. The /aam junta/ is not their target audience. It’s the high-end as well as the upper medium category folk that will want to buy the iPhone and for them, Rs. 30,000 or more is simply a credit card swipe away.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Munim

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    @Avi:
    while Apple is partnering with the operators here, they don’t have any exclusive deal with one operator, which is the case in the US and the UK. This should make it significantly costlier than what it would have been if they were locked on one operator
    Also, lets not forget that electronic items are very expensive in India.
    Rs 21,000 would be a good price compared to the others phones in India. I won’t be surprised if its more than that.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Avi`

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    The only reason for Apple to partner with a carrier is for EXCLUSIVITY or why else do you think it took them an year to reach Asia (where such hardware-carrier binding is rarely seen). After all, Apple is a profit driven company and I see no reason for it to destroy its product sales by binding to carriers. Secondly, Its Vodafone and SingTel (Airtel) that Apple chose, both of which are offering the iPhone to as many as 10 and 14 countries respectively, and my guess is they’ll have a common bond with Apple for all countries!

    Thirdly and most importantly, Steve Jobs personally mentioned and heavily emphasized on the term “AFFORDABLE”. Its fully possible that the plans both Vodafone and Airtel offer are jokingly expensive (like Rogers in Canada) but Apple has always and will always hold true to its commitment and my guess is the iPhone will start at INR 12,000 max!

    Avi`

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Avi`

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    Avi`

    And who says things are REALLY SO EXPENSIVE in India???
    Only goes to show that you haven’t done your research properly and don’t know where to look!
    I just bought a Maxtor 250 GB OneTouch IV Mini drive for as much as INR 2860! With full warranty for 5 years and from a legitimate distributor in India (Nehru Place in Delhi).

    If you just hop up to a Mall and glare at a product at some showroom, not our fault you know!
    As for Apple….Never before has an iPod been sold with a premium as low as 4%. I bought MobileMe few days ago and looked up the UK Apple Online store. I got it for INR 4500 and in UK it retails for GBP 59. Do the math!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Santosh

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    Varun: I think I agree to your expected price.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Munim

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    For those who are expecting the price to be lesser than 21k..
    lets not forgot one very important thing: it is an apple product.
    apple products are not priced according to the competition and according to what most people can pay..
    they are very very expensive lifestyle products.

    And Avi: electronics are expensive in India. I got a laptop for 45k from Muscat 6 months ago, and they still don’t sell a similar config laptop here.. a slightly lower config model is for 55k now.
    phones too… they are expensive in India.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Santosh

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    Munim: Let’s not forget that Varun did clearly mention in *his* blog that the expected price of 16k would be for the 8GB model, and not the 16GB model. To be frank, my honest opinion on this would be that the 8GB model could be priced around 18k, and the 16GB around 23k. Remember, we aren’t comparing it to the competition, but Nokia’s smart-phones with 8GB of storage are natively priced at 16-18k.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    arunk3

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    See, Apple first tied up with Vodafone. If it wanted iPhone to be a premium pro-rich phone they would hav stuck to Vodafone alone. Bharti Airtel is they biggest player here, they tied up with them to make iphone a people’s phone! i don’t think Apple is aiming at the premium market, else it would not have sliced the US price to 199$. I think they have changed there strategy. they are doing something like what the pen industry is doing. 5Rs pen and 3Rs refill.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Tanmay

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    The iPhone (unsubsidized) won’t sell any less than 25k.

    AirTel/Vodafone might sell if for around 15k with a Costlier Data Rate Plan which eventually for the Consumer would turn out to around 28-30k in a span of 2 yrs.

    ATnT itself pays Apple around 300$ each iPhone !

    So in the end the iPhone will cost the Indian People min 25k.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Santosh

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    Tanmay: I beg to defer. In India, carriers are not allowed to have contracts in place. So no 2yr terms or any such terms.

    Reply

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    danish

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    I guess the iPhone would be priced at around 25-28K..

    Airtel has already started selling HTC Diamond (dubbed as the iPhone killer) at a similar price tag and i dont think that iPhone would be a lot cheaper than this cost..

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Navneet N

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    And then there are going to be monthly charges!
    See: < -snip->

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Aalaap Ghag

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    From Tech 2.0:

    {snip}
    Well, that’s about to change now as we’ve received official pricing for the most-awaited phone.

    The 8 GB version of the iPhone 3G will cost Rs. 31,000, while the 16 GB version will cost between Rs. 36,000 and 37,000.

    These prices are not inclusive of the plan these phones will come bundled with.
    {/snip}

    Told ya.

    http://www.tech2.com/india/news/mobile-phones/iphone-3g-pricing-out/44621/0

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Santosh

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    @Aalaap I can’t stop LMAO! But this is going to shatter the dreams of thousands, if not millions of Indians.

    Reply

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    Prajwal Rao

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    8GB Model is Rs 31000, and 16GB model is 36100. This is from Vodafone, just got an SMS from them. Oh!, also it’s gonna be operator locked, it’ll only work with Vodafone..

    Wonder what Airtel has in store for us..

    Reply

  • Avatar

    ZawngEK!

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    What a SHAME! The iPhone 3G 8GB:
    US Price Rs 8,000 approx (US $199 from AT&T)
    Indian Price Rs 31,000 (Airtel/Vodafone)
    (A difference of Rs 23,000 approx, with which you can get a Nokia N82 or a similar phone from Sony Ericsson, etc)

    Why isn’t not the other way round? Maybe US companies knows it pays more to care for their customers and win their hearts. In India, not only are politician’s corrupted, but even seemingly TRUSTWORTHY companies like Airtel/Vodafone are building their castles by robbing hard working poor Indians shamelessly! That too in broad daylight!

    Classic example of The rich eating the poorman’s fish!

    Knowing that it would arrive in India through a legal channel, I was waiting for the the LEGAL iPhone 3G instead of the UNLOCKED iPhone 3G. Now it’s clear, I would definitely get my UNLOCKED iPhone 3G for Rs 1*,000 ONLY! AND I’M FREE TO USE THE iPHONE WITH ANY PROVIDER! No, Airtel/Vodafone, you’ve already made your offering, and I decide I’m not going to be LOCKED with you forever.

    Reply

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    Sathya

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    @Prajwal Airtel’s pricing is the same

    Reply

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    Santosh

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    @ZawngEK! I don’t think it will be locked to any particular operator, be it Airtel or Vodafone. The cost is way too high for it to be locked to an operator as well.

    People did try going legit, it didn’t work out. I guess buying the jailbroken iPhone 3G is the way to go if you are still interested in an iPhone.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    arun

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    Yeah, i’m thinking abt the UNLOCKED version as well.
    35000 Rs!
    lolz!
    Either the companies or all of us are in for a big surprise this 22nd !
    Lets see what happens .
    I’m waiting for the actual figures of sales.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    ZawngEK!

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    @ Santosh, please visit http://www.airtel.in/iphone3g/getready.html

    Q: Is the Handset locked to Airtel Network?
    A: iPhone3G from Airtel is locked to Airtel network.

    The cost is high because you can only buy from Airtel or Vodafone. You are stuck with them for life. You can’t use any other SIM nor can you buy it anywhere else except through Airtl or Vodafone. That is why they can announce a ransom’s price for the Indian iPhone 3G. It is like you are buying 1kg of Rice for Rs 100 from Airtel/Vodafone (whereas it is available for Rs 15/kg in Pakistan) because you can’t get it anywhere else!

    If it is not to be provider locked, why would the iPhone be launched through Airtel/Vodafone only? It would then be available freely anywhere in any shop like any other mobile phone. All iPhones are locked to a specific provider anywhere they are launched in the world.

    That is why there are ‘Jailbroken iPhone 3g’ of which you yourself have spoken of (which means you won’t be locked to Airtel or Vodafone only. You may now use BSNL/MTNL, Idea, Aircel, etc which means it will now behave like any other phone which you get from the market).

    Reply

  • Avatar

    ZawngEK!

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    Hey Guys, if you have Rs 36,100.00 why drool over the iPhone and get robbed by Airtel/Vodafone?

    With that much money, be smart and go buy a good laptop like the Acer Aspire 5920 (I got one today!) which comes with an Intel C2D T5550, 2GB RAM, 160 GB HDD, 15.4 TFT, DVD-Writer, Integrated Webcam, 4-USB Port, FireWire Port, Infrared Port, Intel 802.11a/b/g WLAN, Integrated Bluetooth, multi Card Reader, good Battery Backup (I get at least 2 hours) and lots of other features.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Santosh

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    @ZawngEK! About the iPhone being locked to Airtel: alright, I hadn’t come across that link. My thoughts were purely based on Vodafone’s announcement wherein they ‘requested’ that you buy a Vodafone sim.

    And yes, spending 36k on a cellular phone is pretty stupid. But that’s the price of (stupidity and) wanting to be a “fanboi”.

    Then again, I personally don’t mind spending ~30k or less for a cellular device. I make extensive use of it, in situations where you cannot have a notebook at hand. This comment too, was written on a cellular device. You can’t always have a computer at hand. :)

    Reply

  • Avatar

    anuj

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    friends i think dt bying i phone at d range of 31000 s a vry big stupidity… yar in dt range u cn buy a good hand set 4m nokia, htc,sony erricson etc. and dis s not fair dt dy r selling iphone at dis range.. according to me i phone shud b lounchd at d range of 18000 to 21000 its sufficnt. bcz if v r gtng sme featurng phone between d range of 15000 to 20000 dn y should v buy dis? i dnt thnk dt jst 4 its look u cn waist 31000 smthng amount. its all waistage of money….nd last it will b eazy 4 d every to buy i phone …. bcz since so long evry1 s waitng to buy it.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Rajesh Gupta

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    Hi all

    There is a myth in the market place on low pricing of the product (reference price point being Rs. 8000 or Rs.12000/- which refers to AT&T pricing of USD 199 or USD 299).

    The reports don’t factor the commitment which a customers needs to give for a particular Price Plan for a period of 24 Months in the case of AT&T. For O2 the commitment is for 18 months with selected plans.

    But, if we calculate other cost like montly rental for voice, i.e., 69.99 (USD), the total cost of ownership for the period of 24 months for a 8 GB model comes around Rs.81000/-! The total cost of ownership for O2 is around Rs.200000/- over a period of 18 months.

    In first look it looks high, but in long term, it is still cheaper in India. So, don’t stop urself from buying this lovely gadget…

    Rajesh

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sathya

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    Rajesh,
    Unfortunately 99% of the people don’t know about the contract terms, neither are they aware of the aware of the contract system in US and hence they have the Misconception that by payimng money upfront ($199) like in India, they get the phone all for themselves.
    Oh yea most people also don’t know that incoming calls and SMS are chargeable, even in their home networks

    Reply

  • Avatar

    *Rajesh

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    Unfortunately 99% of the people don’t know about the contract terms, neither are they aware of the aware of the contract system in US and hence they have the Misconception that by payimng money upfront ($199) like in India, they get the phone all for themselves.
    Oh yea most people also don’t know that incoming calls and SMS are chargeable, even in their home networks

    Reply

  • Avatar

    zawngek

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    The iPhone is locked to their networks. And I’m sure all subscribers will subscribes to their data plans as well, most of them with unlimited plans. They are sure to earn a lot through this. Had they make the iPhone a little cheaper, they would not only have their iPhone sales boosted 1000% but that will also means more users locked to their network, which is what every provider is trying to do. No iPhone user can hop providers unlike others.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    AB

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    Spending 35K on iPhone 3gs.. i would rather worship it than keeping it in the pockets of my torn rugged jeans..Nice info BTW

    Reply

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