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iPhone 4S to launch in world No. 2 mobile market India

post #1 of 30
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Apple continues its fastest iPhone rollout ever as the iPhone 4S is set to launch in India, the world's second largest mobile market, through two separate carriers by the end of November.

It was reported on Monday that India's Bharti Airtel, the leading telecom in the world's second largest mobile market, has confirmed it will launch the iPhone 4S on the same day as rival iPhone carrier Aircel, according to The Times of India.

The news follows a Saturday announcement posted on Aircel's Facebook page that stated the company would begin selling the device on Nov. 25, ending weeks of speculation as to when the handset would arrive in India, reports The Next Web.

The companies have yet to disclose a definitive price for Apple's newest handset, though the expected cost is between Rs 35,000 and Rs 40,000 ($693 and $792) for the cheapest unlocked 16 GB version. Previously, Aircel and Bharti Airtel both offered discounted call and data plans for the iPhone 4, and are expected to use the same reverse subsidy model for the iPhone 4S.



Bharti Airtel is India's largest mobile and fixed line carrier and is the third largest in-country mobile telecom operator in the world, while Aircel is India's fifth largest GSM provider and serves over 18 regions within the country.



Since its debut on Oct. 14, the iPhone 4S has seen a record-breaking multi-country launch, international sell-outs and continued high demand.
post #2 of 30
It might be the world's second largest cellphone market but I it will be many years before it's the world's 2nd largest smartphone market.
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post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It might be the world's second largest cellphone market but I it will be many years before it's the world's 2nd largest smartphone market.

I agree. In part, because the pricing is ridiculous. There are fairly decent numbers of folks with $$ to spend on high end phones, but not at the extortionary rates that the local carriers charge for the iPhone.
post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple continues its fastest iPhone rollout ever as the iPhone 4S is set to launch in India, the world's second largest mobile market, through two separate carriers by the end of November.

Gee, I wonder if it will be so popular that it sells out?
post #5 of 30
Does anyone know how big Apple's India business is? I never hear it discussed, either by Apple or in the press

My uneducated opinion - India is still a sprawling mess. It's shocking that India and China we're on equal footing in the 70's. There is something to be said for top/down centralized planning, I guess

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post #6 of 30
The best thing about waiting in long lines in India is that you all break out in choreographed song and dance every 20 minutes.
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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

My uneducated opinion - India is a sprawling mess and is destined for third world status forever.

That is an uneducated opinion

If Apple sold the iPhone at the same price in India as it does in the US ($199 = about Rs 9k), every single person would be buying it. The number of people who spend 15k+ on a smartphone is ridiculous. Everyone from teenagers to businessmen. One of the most popular phones there is/was the Nokia 5800 which sold for Rs 15k, or about US $300.

Sell the iPhone in the US for only the unlocked price ($649 minimum) and let's see how many people buy it!
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercurysquad View Post

That is an uneducated opinion

If Apple sold the iPhone at the same price in India as it does in the US ($199 = about Rs 9k), every single person would be buying it. The number of people who spend 15k+ on a smartphone is ridiculous. Everyone from teenagers to businessmen. One of the most popular phones there is/was the Nokia 5800 which sold for Rs 15k, or about US $300.

Sell the iPhone in the US for only the unlocked price ($649 minimum) and let's see how many people buy it!

Apple doesn't sell it for $199, ATT and Verizon do. Because their customers will pay back the $450 loan and more. India's consumers cannot afford that kind of monthly bill. And that's OK... they'll get there, but no time soon for the vast majority.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Apple doesn't sell it for $199, ATT and Verizon do. Because their customers will pay back the $450 loan and more. India's consumers cannot afford that kind of monthly bill. And that's OK... they'll get there, but no time soon for the vast majority.

Well, actually you can get the iPhone 4 here with a contract that is tremendously cheaper than comparable tariffs in the US or most of Europe (except for maybe Austria where mobile tariffs are dirt cheap). I am in Mumbai and pay $18 for 5GB of mobile data and domestic calls. And even the unlocked iPhone 4 is 10-15% cheaper than in most of Europe - if you take the tax out, the Indian price is not ridiculous at all.

Anyhow, me happy, I intended to fly back to Germany in December to get a 4S, but now it is coming far earlier than expected. Quite amazing, when I arrived here in April, they still sold the iPhone 3 (not the 3GS) as a current model.

No idea how well Apple is doing here, they do not really try yet (no online store, no iTunes store except for apps). But a lot of articles are consistently sold out (e.g. the new MacBook Air is still hard to find).
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple continues its fastest iPhone rollout ever as the iPhone 4S is set to launch in India, the world's second largest mobile market, through two separate carriers by the end of November.

It was reported on Monday that India's Bharti Airtel, the leading telecom in the world's second largest mobile market, has confirmed it will launch the iPhone 4S on the same day as rival iPhone carrier Aircel, according to The Times of India.

Bharti Airtel is India's largest mobile and fixed line carrier and is the third largest in-country mobile telecom operator in the world, while Aircel is India's fifth largest GSM provider and serves over 18 regions within the country.

[ View this article at AppleInsider.com ][/c]

This could be one of the most significant positive announcements for Apple this year.

Apple's growth in China has been phenomenal. Now the indian market could be as potentially nearly as large and fast growing a market for iPhones as China.

Indians are just as fashion and brand conscious as the Chinese. They also have a large and very fast growing middle and upper income classes - not in percentage terms but in absolute or number terms because of the size of the population and the fast growing economy which is like China.

Some idea of the potential size of this market can be seen from the fact that India has a population of around 1,200 million. At least 5% to 10% of that population can afford iPhones i.e. 60 to 120 million and that number will grow exponentially in coming years.

The main problem for smartphone sales in India has been lack of 3G networks and the problem for iPhone was availability on just one smaller carrier.

But the announcement that Bharti Airtel, the largest Indian carrier, will now be selling iPhones is a very significant breakthrough and we can now expect iPhone sales growth measured in several 100s of percent per annum as has occurred in China. Of course new carriers will be added in due course, keeping up the sales momentum.

I think Siri could be a huge attraction in India. English is the national language for the educated and middle and upper income people. Of course, to start with, Siri will struggle to understand the Indian accent. I've noticed that Siri initially had difficulty understanding the different lilt and intonations spoken by non-native English speakers, but doubtless with AI and the myriad of Indian programmers available, I'm sure Siri will start learning to understand Indian English as well as American English, English English or Aussi and Kiwi English!
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

It's shocking that India and China were on equal footing in the 70's. There is something to be said for top/down centralized planning, I guess

Exactly! For all the criticism of China's "one-child policy", without it China might look more like India. And while China has brought 625 million people out of poverty, the great majority of Indians are still dirt poor. With apologies to George W. Bush (nah, just kidding!), Democracy isn't always the best solution.
post #12 of 30
Apple missed a trick by rleasing thier earlei models late , as late as a year, in India..Current Trend among Smartphone buyers here in Bangalore is all about Galaxy S2..guess same in other major cities also
People dont talk about Iphone in same awe they used to do a year back. May be 4S changes that we have to wait and see.

one more Problem is with Data plans for also Higher..we have to pay full Amount (Unlocked $649) and then have to go for a data plan which many here dont Like...

i own a Ipad 2..no plan yet to buy a Smartphone as i dont think spending so much money on a Phone is absolutely necessary at this time
post #13 of 30
I am an Indian, and finding the comments made on India way off base... but finding it funny too..lol.. Breaking out in song and dance every 20 minutes had me laughing real hard. Surprised that no one mentioned the famous Sanke rope trick.. (or was it rope snake trick )
Secular Investor was probably the closest to making an observation about the Indian financial market.

The reason why Apple product is not Big here in India could be..(I say could because I am not an official spokesperson for all Indian)
1. The price..
2. The price..
3. The Price..
4. iPhones are launched almost at the end of their life cycle. iPhone 4 was launched in India a month after iPad2 was launched. So we are all surprised with the quick iPhone4s.
5. And Apple is not that well known a brand as Nokia, Samsung, Microsoft, LG etc..etc.. yes things are a changin now for apple.
6. Personally I will not pick up an product which is being launched at the end of the product life cycle here... even if it is a apple product..

I still would Secular Investors post for information that is closer to the truth. Good day fellas. and dreyfus2 is right about the one of lowest call rates in the world
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoJimu View Post

Exactly! For all the criticism of China's "one-child policy", without it China might look more like India. And while China has brought 625 million people out of poverty, the great majority of Indians are still dirt poor. With apologies to George W. Bush (nah, just kidding!), Democracy isn't always the best solution.

I can't believe I have to teach democracy to an american

The difference my dear fellow, is that there is a free press and democracy in india, and so india can be seen properly with all its strengths and its warts.

With China, nobody knows how many and which of those numbers are true. There is too much suppressed information.

By all "personal" accounts and independent reports, the corruption levels in china are just as bad or worse than in india. So, frankly nobody knows what the situation really is.

Development is not all about spanking new buildings and roads you know. The largest mall in the world is in china, but it is 95% unoccupied! India doesn't have the largest mall or anything resembling it, but the malls that are there are all near-100% occupied and overflowing with people!

Don't get me wrong there are still a whole bunch of things that need to get better, but it will happen and it will happen with free speech and democracy.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoJimu View Post

Exactly! For all the criticism of China's "one-child policy", without it China might look more like India. And while China has brought 625 million people out of poverty, the great majority of Indians are still dirt poor. With apologies to George W. Bush (nah, just kidding!), Democracy isn't always the best solution.

Do some reading on "demographic miracles". It is a double edged sword. For decades China has benefited from a larger than natural percentage of the population who is working age - a low dependency ratio. But that doesn't last forever. Eventually you get to the point where all those little girls who were never born (and a few boys as well) should have been of working age, but aren't there. You can't benefit forever by suppressing your society. And yes, democracy is always the best solution.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secular Investor View Post

The main problem for smartphone sales in India has been lack of 3G networks and the problem for iPhone was availability on just one smaller carrier.

But the announcement that Bharti Airtel, the largest Indian carrier, will now be selling iPhones is a very significant breakthrough and we can now expect iPhone sales growth measured in several 100s of percent per annum as has occurred in China. Of course new carriers will be added in due course, keeping up the sales momentum.

Actually, Airtel has been selling the iPhone since Apple officially launched the 3G India, so this is not really that significant a breakthrough.

I think the problem is more to do with the numbers that are shipped to India. I don't think Apple finds the Indian market lucrative enough to ship in large quantities or give attention like they do to China.

Every Apple product has been available here almost within 2-3 weeks of being announced, except for the iPhones (and the first iPad). I bought the early 2011 MBP here the moment it was released, which was 3 weeks after the US launch. The same goes for the MBA that I bought for my wife. So it has more to do with how many are available. Case in point, the White iPhone 4 was sold out for 3 months after the launch and it took a long time before the supplies were replenished.

I agree that more an more people are able to buy Apple products, especially the iPhone and iPad. I don't know what Apple thinks of it though. Maybe the real numbers are totally different and it is a very insignificant market.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The best thing about waiting in long lines in India is that you all break out in choreographed song and dance every 20 minutes.

That's like thinking that all long lines in China and Hong Kong will have guys getting into kung-fu fights. Viva la stereotype!
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BestKeptSecret View Post

That's like thinking that all long lines in China and Hong Kong will have guys getting into kung-fu fights.

And all long lines in the U.S. result in a gunfight! :-)
post #19 of 30
Best title for this article: Siri Gets a Sari.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Do some reading on "demographic miracles". It is a double edged sword. For decades China has benefited from a larger than natural percentage of the population who is working age - a low dependency ratio. But that doesn't last forever. Eventually you get to the point where all those little girls who were never born (and a few boys as well) should have been of working age, but aren't there. You can't benefit forever by suppressing your society. And yes, democracy is always the best solution.

Democracy is not the best solution, which is why the US is NOT a Democracy.
post #21 of 30
Red Oak had it pretty spot on with his first comment (before editing it out to make it politically correct ).
Typically Indians don't much care about user experience. The average buyer has zero aesthetic sensibilities and will probably never appreciate Apple's integrated hardware/software eco-system. As a result they rather buy cheap/inexpensive devices, just like the one their neighbor has (i.e. BB/nokia/samsung - herd mentality).
I totally sympathize with Apple on not bothering much with the Indian market (another example, no official Apple stores yet either). The hassles are probably just not worth it in the end.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfreak7 View Post

Red Oak had it pretty spot on with his first comment (before editing it out to make it politically correct ).
Typically Indians don't much care about user experience. The average buyer has zero aesthetic sensibilities and will probably never appreciate Apple's integrated hardware/software eco-system. As a result they rather buy cheap/inexpensive devices, just like the one their neighbor has (i.e. BB/nokia/samsung - herd mentality).
I totally sympathize with Apple on not bothering much with the Indian market (another example, no official Apple stores yet either). The hassles are probably just not worth it in the end.

Well that was harsh, India has its flaws like any other region in the world maybe less... for apple to get a market share in India they will have to do a lot more than they are doing right now. We dont want to join the rest of the world and be termed as having herd mentality just becoz everyone else is getting apple products lol
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfreak7 View Post

Red Oak had it pretty spot on with his first comment (before editing it out to make it politically correct ).
Typically Indians don't much care about user experience. The average buyer has zero aesthetic sensibilities and will probably never appreciate Apple's integrated hardware/software eco-system. As a result they rather buy cheap/inexpensive devices, just like the one their neighbor has (i.e. BB/nokia/samsung - herd mentality).
I totally sympathize with Apple on not bothering much with the Indian market (another example, no official Apple stores yet either). The hassles are probably just not worth it in the end.

This is incorrect. From what I see the most affecting reason for the less popularity of iPhone in India is the general point of view towards communication. For majority of Indian users iPhone is a phone first. Even if they buy iPhone, majority of them will use it only for phone, messages, music & apps. People are not yet used to the idea of browsing major chunk of their internet requirements from phone itself. Computers are still the most popular way to browse internet.

The country with world's largest IT industry & highest internet users, if you says that average buyer has zero aesthetic sensibilities & can't appreciate Apple's hardware/software ecosystem then it can not be more wrong. Apple's business model of creating the features, creating the necessities & selling the devices on it doesn't work here much.

Taking example of Siri which is the major driving factor of 4S sell outs in US, Apple got overwhelming response with Siri. What average Siri user fails to understand is that how much ease of use is required in life? Okay you can set alarm by just talking to your phone but you can already do that by simple two-three steps yourself. Majority of work Siri can do, you can do it by yourself with simple Google search or by using that particular app itself.

In Advertise a guy sets up a meeting in his calendar while jogging. Yeah it looks great. Awesome demo but what needs to understand is that how many time you're going to be in that scenario? Do you really need to think about business while you're jogging? It's a marketing ploy. And if you do then it's a clear case of depending too much on technology. Can't you remember your appointments & schedule of a day by yourself?

I'll again say that for majority of Indian users iPhone is a phone first. And when average Indian user can have all his requirements of calling, messages, music, apps & navigation fulfilled by any Samsung/HTC or BB/Nokia phone in $300 price range why they shell out $750 for iPhone? It's a smart approach to the value for money.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The best thing about waiting in long lines in India is that you all break out in choreographed song and dance every 20 minutes.

Really funny NOT
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

Really funny NOT

So much hate for Indian cinema. Shame on you. You should embrass the richness of your culture. Unfortunately for most of the world its through popular films we'll get a chance to see yore richness of your country.
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post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So much hate for Indian cinema. Shame on you. You should embrass the richness of your culture. Unfortunately for most of the world its through popular films we'll get a chance to see yore richness of your country.

What's your point? Are you upset why Apple added couple of more carriers. When android is just trying to fill every single inch of space left by any vendor.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So much hate for Indian cinema. Shame on you. You should embrass the richness of your culture. Unfortunately for most of the world its through popular films we'll get a chance to see yore richness of your country.

I thought YOU were being sarcastic, that;s why I wrote your quote is funny NOT! I enjoy India more than when I was living in some other developed countries
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

I thought YOU were being sarcastic, that;s why I wrote your quote is funny NOT! I enjoy India more than when I was living in some other developed countries

I guess I was being stereotypically ironic (is that a thing?) or facetious, but certainly not meant to imply contempt or mockery. As you are well aware song and dance is pretty much on TV all the time as well as Doogie Howser, M.D. I quite loved India overall. I hated the level of poverty and lack of general cleanliness surrounding very ritzy hotels and flats, but I can't imagine anyone who would like those things.
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post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari5 View Post

This is incorrect. From what I see the most affecting reason for the less popularity of iPhone in India is the general point of view towards communication. For majority of Indian users iPhone is a phone first. Even if they buy iPhone, majority of them will use it only for phone, messages, music & apps. People are not yet used to the idea of browsing major chunk of their internet requirements from phone itself. Computers are still the most popular way to browse internet.

The country with world's largest IT industry & highest internet users, if you says that average buyer has zero aesthetic sensibilities & can't appreciate Apple's hardware/software ecosystem then it can not be more wrong. Apple's business model of creating the features, creating the necessities & selling the devices on it doesn't work here much.

Taking example of Siri which is the major driving factor of 4S sell outs in US, Apple got overwhelming response with Siri. What average Siri user fails to understand is that how much ease of use is required in life? Okay you can set alarm by just talking to your phone but you can already do that by simple two-three steps yourself. Majority of work Siri can do, you can do it by yourself with simple Google search or by using that particular app itself.



In Advertise a guy sets up a meeting in his calendar while jogging. Yeah it looks great. Awesome demo but what needs to understand is that how many time you're going to be in that scenario? Do you really need to think about business while you're jogging? It's a marketing ploy. And if you do then it's a clear case of depending too much on technology. Can't you remember your appointments & schedule of a day by yourself?

I'll again say that for majority of Indian users iPhone is a phone first. And when average Indian user can have all his requirements of calling, messages, music, apps & navigation fulfilled by any Samsung/HTC or BB/Nokia phone in $300 price range why they shell out $750 for iPhone? It's a smart approach to the value for money.

You are wrong, APPLE in India is seen by everyone has BRAND product and very much is talked about by most Indians. It is seen as Brand next to Hugo Boss, Chanel & LV. The cost ensures only the middle class to Rich can afford the phone and this has nothing to do with only requiring phone fuctionality. Indians enjoy electronics and always looking for the next gadget to buy and impress their friends. The reason is simply price, since 700 Million people can not afford good healthcare, how are they going to afford a phone priced at USD$750.

As for Siri, it would not work in India, since number of people, who can speak English have some dialects that would not be understood by Siri. Prime example is Call centres ,a number of people fail to get a job because their speaking/writing can not be retrained and fail the screening. Majority of the TOP call centres re-train their employees to speak clear English with yjeir normal Indian accent, but pronounce their words clearly so there is no misunderstanding by customer or support.

I wonder what you will say about iPad in India, since that is similarly price to iPhone and has sold very well for limited advertising.

I
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I guess I was being stereotypically ironic (is that a thing?) or facetious, but certainly not meant to imply contempt or mockery. As you are well aware song and dance is pretty much on TV all the timeā€¦ as well as Doogie Howser, M.D. I quite loved India overall. I hated the level of poverty and lack of general cleanliness surrounding very ritzy hotels and flats, but I can't imagine anyone who would like those things.


Believe me, be careful what you term poor in India, because the beggar in Mumbai is probably earning more than me a week. The balance between the poor and rich in such neighborhoods is very interesting and your first instance is too feel sorry for what you deem poor, but you can be mislead and Indians are very good at pulling at your emotional side.

The lack of general cleanliness is relative to your society and if you followed the Commonwealth Games saga, in Delhi you will understand that this is mindset of majority Indians on the level their deem cleanliness and is not linked only to poor.
Drink the water from tap and wether you are rich or poor, you are gambling with your health. majority of people in India (if not all) boil the tap water or have filter system.
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