updated 10:45 am EDT, Wed June 29, 2011
iPhone 4 too expensive for most
Apple is planning a special version of the iPhone 3GS to accommodate India, a local report claims. An 8GB unlocked version is expected to ship sometime in the near future, at a price of 19,990 rupees, or about $444 US. Initial carrier vendors are only expected to include Aircel and Bharti Airtel, but others may join later.
One reason for the option is likely the cost of the iPhone 4, which is prohibitive for all but the rich in India. A 16GB model is selling for 34,500 rupees, roughly $760, and even then requires a two-year contract. In the US, by contrast, a similar arrangement prices the hardware at $199.
India is also more likely to have cheaper smartphone options from companies like RIM and Nokia. Android devices may be a particular threat, since the platform is less expensive to implement. Apple prefers to target wealthier markets, which has limited the extent to which it can expand in regions like India.