I was just wandering through the hot topics and tags on internet related to India and reached this blog called Livemint which had an article on Apple iPhone expected to be the costliest in India. I just thought of putting a small comment to the author, agreeing to his view point.
But that small comment became a long essay, by the time I stopped. So thought of having it here too. In response to Sidin's article on LIVEmint(check the link to view the original article)
"At last, i find someone who shares my thoughts, that the Apple iPhone wont come for an equivalent of $199 in India. Contracts have never been successful in India, even though India boost the fastest growing market, per customer returns or billing isn't high here. Hence Vodafone and Airtel are gonna charge hefty. More over, now that, everywhere else too, iPhone comes with contract period or at above $500 (without contract),Grey market wont be cheap enough. Add to that, if one buys from Grey, he will miss out on the possible unlimited data plans that will come with the iPhone. Without Edge, let alone 3G, iPhone will be more of a dumb phone with a large screen. And GPRS in India is costly.
I have been using the Apple iPhone since, Aug 2007, and i have consistently exceeded 1500 rs just on GPRS (500 rs for 500mb + 5paise per additional 10kb plan) with Vodafone. If iPhone 2.0 comes with a unlimited GPRS plan, I' ll definitely switch over.
However, I wonder whether mass market India accept iPhone?
One cant put music or any media on to it without i tunes and a pc. Even to send from it, you need to be either tech savvy and jail break the phone. One cant import or export contacts or forward an SMS. There are no loud ring tones or do it have vdo recording (we Indians are very particular about wanting video recording. try a Google search for MMS desi India :))))
Nokia did well by being loud in all sense. Its remarkably loud (irritating to me) speaker volume and no restrictions in sending and receiving songs and other media (they don't bother about piracy) coupled with relatively cheap pricing worked.
Are we , majority of Indians who don't have a personal computer going to queue up at the nearby vodafone or apple store, to pay and download music and pics?
Well, the other side of this argument is that, the target customer group for iphone (spending beyond 15k) should be having access to PC.
But in India, I think, there isn't much correlation between personal income and spending on mobile phones. We give more importance to show off, we spend way beyond our means when it comes to mobile phones. You can spot most of the called lower middle class in India sporting premium cell phones and keep changing them too. I believe, I too belong to that group!.
Whether it succeeds or not doesn't matter to me. Its been the best device I have used and I am sure, Nokia and SE will take years to catch up with iPhone's user interface. I am so impressed and thankful to Apple, for not resorting to serial hardware changes, have continuously given software updates, making your device feel new even now. In fact I will be going in for a v 2.0 software upgrade once Zibri comes up with a unlock and jailbreak for the same. As India wont see 3G soon, I would be happy using my V1.0 with V2.0 firmware.
SE have fooled me by bringing K810 just after k800 and then again k850. K850 being the pathetic of the lot. I ceased becoming a SE fan, disappointed after getting a k850. Since sept 07, I haven't thought of switching to any new handset, just because nothing better came , and nothing better is expected soon. Something that could close was SE Experia, but SE has now differed the release, thank god, they realized the folly of launching K850 without a proper firmware.
Any ways, I have been happy with this device and is still fascinated and excited about it, as I was in Aug 07, when I got hold of it. Shelled out Rs. 25 k at that time ( on easy installments, thanks to Venkat, one of my bosses in US), but i still feel it was the best buy ever. It still have me hooked on, thanks to the numerous free apps available on jailbreak ed iPhones and the Internet is just awesome.
To all those curious and or skeptic about iphone (both positive and negative):
Go ahead, take it at 25k, its still worth it.
When compared to the N series and SE P1/w960 of similar price range, iPhone is a thousand times better. For the money you spend, you are certainly worth a better device.
Just watch a video or scroll through the image gallery of iPhone and then you will feel as if Nokias, HTCs and SE are cheating you with such slow, sluggish devices for ages. Then check out the safari browser to view iPhone optimized gmail or use meebo and log on to multiple chat services. Later try out the simple camera and a few iPhone apps. By that time, you will be ready to pay 30k. At least I would have done that".
GO for the Apple iPhone, you are worth it.
A former SE fan