iPhone launch in India – A Joke!

The iPhone was launched with much fanfare in Bangalore a couple of days back and is being simultaneously launched in other cities as well. Both Vodafone and Airtel are introducing the model with various service plans.

The whole thing appears to be a ridiculous joke! The phones are being priced at approx 738 USD while being locked to the provider’s serivice plan. Close to 4x the price of the same in other places. In addition the Service plans are not cheap either. Vodafone’s starting plan has a rental of approx 18 USD per month with 249 free call minutes and 250M data transfer limit. Obviously additional charges apply if you cross these limits. Over and above this 3G services are not available yet in India making the Phone’s 3G features useless. Though this situation might change soon enough. Essentially things are setup to ride on the hype and drain subscribers pockets.

In addition remember that these phones are the jail-locked ones with the known limitations of iPhones. Some things like no USB storage mode at the bidding of Apple. I see absolutely no point in emptying my pockets for fancy dancing icons and rotating, zooming, jumping displays GAH. I really do need an email-centric and basic web-centric smartphone which I can also use as USB storage and possibly tethered modem at a later date. I am not too hell-bent on touchscreen either, though that is nice of course. I also prefer an open standards device that is free of unprecedented levels of closed corporate lock-ins. One can get unlocked iPhones in the Indian gray market for USD 507.

However in addition the general mobile data plans are also extremely ridiculous in India. Hopefully things should change with 3G services coming and the State owned Telecom giant BSNL piloting EVDO based 2.4 MBps unlimited wireless internet service at just 18 USD per month.

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8 thoughts on “iPhone launch in India – A Joke!

  1. moinakg Post author

    I do not care about it. In fact I do not own a single Apple product and hopefully will never need one. Just felt that I had to comment given all the hype that service providers are trying to drum up in order to make a fast buck and push locked-down DRM polluted products.

    OpenMoko is fine but I am quite enthralled by the Blackberry. I am waiting to check out the Bold and Thunder models. Unfortunately the Bold is still not available in India.

    Reply
  2. Glynn Foster

    Heh. Fortunately you’re not the only country that seems to be involved in the circus. Vodafone NZ have been hilarious. Launch, introduce a set of plans that no one will buy, re-launch, introduce a new set of plans that are a step in the right direction but no one will buy. round and round we go! Very disappointing given the potential of the device.

    Reply
  3. moinakg Post author

    It is not only Vodafone but unfortunately even Airtel which is doing the same thing. Airtel BTW is the largest privately held Mobile and Internet services provider in India and their services are quite good though a little pricey. They are the first to introduce 8 MBps home broadband in select places.

    Reply
  4. windexh8er

    Openmoko? What a joke… It doesn’t even have the capability to do EDGE, let alone any sort of 3G (WCDMA) services!

    Reply
  5. moinakg Post author

    Well I don’t know about OpenMoko and never mentioned it. However I am also not going to dunk my hard-earned cash with draconian locked down devices on which I need to jump over hoops or pay Apple to copy a music file!
    My personal inclinations are with Blackberry Bold since I am an email junkie. Unfortunately that is not yet available in India.

    Reply

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