It’s almost two hours past midnight and the iPhone 4S has officially gone on sale here in India. Just to make myself very clear here, I am not writing this post sitting outside an Apple reseller/Aircel/Airtel store. There are no queues (none reported as yet) outside any official stores. Seems like all the Apple fanboys, including me, are hiding deep inside their quilts. Have we stopped loving Apple? Are we not impressed by the greatest iPhone ever? Well, not really.
The answer is quite simple – we just cannot afford it. It’s not a surprise that we’ve always been jealous of Americans who get iPhones at subsidized prices. I understand there’s a contract involved but I could live with it. It’s a frigging iPhone 4S for God sake! I wonder how many Americans buy the unlocked version. Not many, exactly. The iPhone 4S is now being sold by Aircel and Airtel in India. The pricing isn’t anywhere close to cool.
Airtel is selling the iPhone 4S 16GB for Rs. 44,500 while Aircel is matching the price for the same phone. Aircel is selling the 32 GB version for Rs. 50,900 and at the moment the 64GB version seems to be sold out on their site. I wonder how many people took personal loans just to pre-order those. The pricing is just horrible! One could easily get an unlocked iPhone 4S from US or Singapore for anything between Rs. 32,000-34,000. Of course the import duties and a boatload of taxes screw things up all the time. Not to mention the cut Apple and then the mobile service providers want in the end.
So this pretty much ends my dream of owning an iPhone 4S for real. I am not even going to tune in to the iPhone 5 event. What’s the use? It’ll cost more than all my organs combined. Probably even more than that! The problem with pricing is two fold – one: it’s a bloody expensive phone no doubt and I have to think a 100 times before making a decision, and two: being an Indian I just cannot take it that someone else is paying less for a device that still looks like an iPhone 4. Alright the latter obviously makes more sense.
I am sure I am not the only one whining about the iPhone 4S prices in India. Even the iPhone 4 which was supposed to get cheaper isn’t showing any chances of breaking the price barrier anytime soon. For us, Indians, we’ll have to stick to alternatives for now. Hello Samsung!