The very popular 3G iPhone made a quiet debut in India today. It costs $700, roughly three times the US retail price, which is twice the average monthly salary of white-collar middle managers in India. While the 3G iPhone launched to rock star-like mass hysteria in the US, Europe, and parts of Asia last month, the debut in India was much more sedate.
The Apple 3G iphone will still likely find buyers in India among the group of affluent young professionals who happily snap up luxury products and various other iconic brands. A midnight launch in New Delhi drew a small but enthusiastic crowd to Vodafone Essar, one of the two retail distributors in India. Local television showed onlookers crowding for a peek of the phone at a mall in Gurgaon while retailers took out advertisements for the 3G on the front pages of some of India’s biggest newspapers.
“I can’t wait to show it off at school, it’s way better than having a PlayStation, said Rudra Khurana, a 14-year-old Delhi high school student, standing next to his beaming father.
India is the world’s fastest-growing wireless market and with nearly 300 million subscribers is the second-largest market for such services after China.
The phone sells for as little as $199 in the US, with customers often buying mandatory data-service plans. India’s top mobile operator Bharti Airtel and third-ranked Vodafone Essar are selling the 8GB model for around 31,000 rupees ($716) even though 3G services are not yet available.
Photo via blueone/Flickr.