Apple Inc will launch its latest offering, the iPhone in the here (US) tomorrow. Apart from functioning as a phone, the device can function as a media player and also as a wireless web surfing device.
Officially, it will not be available in India for at least another year.
But for those who really want it, the wait might be as short as a fortnight or, at the most, a month. This is not just because of efficiently smuggled shipments but a technical ‘feat’ as well.
In the US, Apple has tied up with AT&T in an exclusive contract. This means that the iPhone will only work on an AT&T SIM card for which buyers have to sign up for an $59 to $100 a month plan for a minimum two-year subscription.
But in India, grey market operators say they can “unlock” the phone for just Rs 1,000 or Rs 1,500 so that it can be used on any network in India. “Unlocking the iPhone isn’t tough,” said a dealer in central Delhi.
In the US, the phone is priced between $500 (Rs 22,000) for the 4 GB version and $600 (Rs 25,500) for the 8 GB model. There are further variations depending upon the memory. Out in the grey markets of Palika Bazar or Sarojini Nagar, an entry-level iPhone will be available for Rs 30,000. National Market Rs 32,000.
Unlocked Apple iPhone units are expected to be auctioned off at a premium, especially in Asian markets.
//As the world gets ready for this deadline to grab one of the most sought after handsets - the iPhone - two Indian companies are also getting ready to register gains from this revolutionary offering of Apple Inc., the makers of Macintosh computer (popularly called Mac) and the iPod.
Noida-based HCL Infosystems and Bangalore-based Wipro Technologies are close to becoming the exclusive Indian distributors of the iPhone. Analysts are expecting 1-3 million handsets to hit the shelves on Friday.
A luxury product costing $499 for 4 gigabytes memory and $599 for 8 gigabytes memory, iPhone will have a large touch screen minus the conventional keypad. It will also double up as an iPod, video player and will come equipped with a digital camera.//