High prices for Apple iPhone 3G in India causes disappointment, outrage

“The iPhone pricing [in Inida] is so steep that several potential customers were massively disappointed, even outraged, going by local media reports. The princely sum of 31,000 rupees ($720) for the 8-gigabyte iPhone and 36,100 rupees ($840) for the 16 GB version was too high for even such a cool gizmo,” V. Phani Kumar reports for MarketWatch.

“Additionally, Bharti is asking for a deposit of 5,000 rupees, while Vodafone is reportedly seeking twice as much. What’s worse, India has yet to auction the frequency spectrum required by mobile operators to start offering 3G, and a formal 3G launch is estimated to take up to a year. So even the rich, cool dudes who manage to get themselves an iPhone will only be able to enjoy the low-speed applications that they had access to anyway on their phones earlier,” Kumar reports.

“During the April-June quarter, Bharti earned 350 rupees a month as average revenue per user, implying that the company’s average customer can continue using the old phone for 9.8 years more, if he or she decides against buying a 16 GB iPhone, at a cost of 41,100 rupees (phone cost of 36,100, plus deposit of 5,000 rupees),” Kumar reports.

“Put another way, a fresh graduate recruited by one of India’s leading software companies will have to pay 1.6 times his or her pretax monthly salary of 25,000 rupees to satisfy an impulse to own the iPhone.
Needless to say, Apple needs to rework its iPhone pricing in India if it hopes to attract a respectable number of customers in this poor but rapidly growing economy. Even if it doesn’t, other mobile operators and other handset makers probably have much to gain from the iPhone’s launch anyway,” Kumar writes.

Kumar writes, “All industry players, not just Bharti and Vodafone, will gain from the iPhone, whether or not Apple does.”

Full article here.

A rising tide lifts… (long pause) …Sorry, I smoked weed with the president and I totally forgot what I was going to say.


  1. clearly not Apple’s pricing scheme! When will these stupid, greedy carriers learn their lesson? Even Rogers, here in monoply land Canada, had to bend a little to the outrage over data rates.

    From my iPhone

  2. No one’s been “violated” or otherwise harmed. Buyers have to make a decision on whether they want to spend the money or not. Pretty simple.

    That said, it looks like the carriers in India aren’t subsidizing the iPhone like AT&T;is here in the US and other carriers are doing elsewhere. Too bad for Apple and the consumer.

  3. Welcome to our world, India. If you want to go “cheap”, you have your options, just as we do. Wait a few more years when this technology will no longer be bleeding edge and you can get this for a better deal. If you want to go with the latest and greatest, you know that you need to pay a premium for it.

  4. Nothing to see here. The solutions to this problem are very simple.

    A) Do not buy such a ridiculously priced bauble unless you simply must have the status symbol. If so, do not complain about the price.

    B) Wait. The price will come down.

    In the meantime, apply some of the admittedly impressive brain power of India to cleaning up the Ganges, providing civil rights for women, feeding the poor, and maybe preventing the sale of nuclear technology to religious maniacs. You really don’t need iPhones for any of that.

  5. I bought it for 36100 and the 5k deposit is deducted from the total amount so the article got it wrong.

    Lovin my 16 gigger. Wish it were cheaper obviously, but after waiting a year to get my hands on it ….. I can say no regrets!

  6. And we want these people doing our tech support????

    Selling a phone that has no coverage (no frequency),
    No buyers,
    and no political (greed) sense.

    Its india for you.

    Just a thought.

  7. Well, when youe have a national economy that is designed to lowball American wages and undercut American tech jobs, don’t complain if you can’t buy plasma televisions and iPhones. You made your own bed. Lie in it.

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