India would be one among the nine countries where iPhone would officially be available by the end of this year. Currently, they can be bought only through the grey market wherein it costs about Rs.30,000/- a piece without any warranty as it is not officially permitted in India. For the same reason, it costs around Rs.4000 for getting it unlocked.
Vodafone which has recently taken a major stake in Essar India would offer them by partnering with Apple. According to informed sources, 8G version of the Phone is the one that is likely to be offered initially with a price tag of about Rs.28,000 and this may be followed up with 16G versions for which the price tag would be steeper. Airtel was in the fray earlier as a possible supplier but what went in favour of Vodafone was its subscribers base in Metros and A circles who are likely to use these luxury instruments.
IPhone combines Apple’s iPod music player, video player and Webbrowser. It was named as the invention of the year 2007 by Times and is expected to be a hit in the Indian Market where the mobile subscriptions are growing by leaps and bounds.
The deal is expected to be mutually beneficial for both vodofone and Apple. Vodafone would attract more subscribers to its base not only the new ones but also the existing ones belonging to rivals. Apple would get a share in the revenue on the calls made and value added services, though so far no agreement has taken place on the percentage. This is being worked out and an agreement is likely to be arrived shortly.
It may well be worthwhile for the Indian customers to wait for this new exciting service