10 days and only 5000 iPhones sold in India

by Dhiram Shah

The iPhone 3G made its way to India on August 21, but inspite of landing in one of the world’s fastest growing mobile markets it failed to make a dent. Unlike the West where stores were being running out of inventories and were plagued by iPhone enthusiasts, mobile phone stores in India had a deserted look on the launch day. Why you may ask in a country where smartphones are a big hit and about 30,000 first gen iPhones were sold unofficially. Well for starters the iPhone 3G has a very steep price in India even by Western standards, 8GB iPhone costs Rs 31,000 ($ 760) and the 16GB version costs Rs 35,000 ($ 860) which is more than three times of $199 and $299 which is the pricing in the US. The icing on the cake is that the mobile carriers offering the 3G iPhone do not offer 3G services in fact India does not have 3G and the spectrum auctions are going on.

Analysts are predicting that Apple may drop iPhone’s price by at least Rs 5,000 ($ 125). At current prices, we expect iPhone to sell primarily among those who cannot wait for Apple or the operators to cut prices, he said. It will be a volumes game then for the operators to clear out their stocks before Apple announces a new version of iPhone says Anshul Gupta, principal analyst with Gartner.