We all know how much the west loves the iPhone but do you ever wonder why is it not such a big thing in India, and clearly its not the Reason that People Can’t afford it here and I bet many of u know its manufactured in our neighbor’s back yard, yes china but did you know they also have a plant setup in south india ? Well now you do…
So what really are the reasons that this wonderful gadgets is not that popular in India?…. Here are the Reasons why…..
For many Indian user price can be a major deciding factor specially in buying a luxury item, in our case its the iPhone. In India there are only two carrier who officially sell the iPhone but when compare the price with our Asian neighbors you will notice that the price of an unlocked iPhone there is more than the price of a locked iPhone in india.
When iphone 3G was launched in the US and in Europe the phone was an instant hit even when it didn’t even have copy paste and few other basic features, but in India not so Great… Why? Well the The phone was very expensive it was locked so overall value for money not so much and this was the main reason discontent or what we can call turn off factor for the potential buyers.
Now India being so close to the home of iPhone manufacturing head ‘China’ still India is the last to get it. Iphone 3GS was launched in india at the end of March’10 and iPhone 4 was launched few weeks later after that. But we really cant blame it on apple for it as china officially got the phone few days ago (25Sept) due to license issues. iPhone 4 is expected this diwali by airtel.
Since Airtel and vodafone being the only resellers of the phone in the world’s 7th largest country the phone was not available to the users on other carriers and since mobile no. portability not launched yet, and people unwilling to change their no. or carrying two phones (Assuming either they don’t want to jailbreak or lose warranty). Also unlocked phones from they grey market is a gamble not are willing to take, as its jailbroken phone without any warranty and you never know what problem you may run into in a few days use which was not noticeable at the time you bought.
Carrier Compatibility and data plans
Vodafone is not at all iphone friendly carrier, if you just want a simple GPRS and MMS feature on your phone you need atleast a (post paid and prepaid) Rs. 199 plan in which you get Just 50MB of free data usage and there is no unlimited plan and it will take you hours of phone call with the customer care and many email to get the service working.
Airtel on the other hand is a better than vodafone in terms of data plan, in 99Rs you get 2GB of data usage every month which is more than sufficient for everyone
(3G prices not mentioned as its not available as of yet in India…)
But there is an irony in this tale most of the iPhone users India did not buy the phone from these two carriers, they bought an unlocked or a jailbroken phone because it was cheaper than the locked ones.
Most of the carriers in the country like Aircel, Tata Indocom, Relaince, etc don’t have actually have iPhone in their device compatibility list so what does this mean ? Most of them don’t either support auto apn setting for the iPhone or are not able to enable MMS on the phone, in simple terms these carriers do not have the settings to enable GPRS & MMS on your phone from their end or a sms u will actually need to call them and do the settings manually and they still cant guarantee both things for you to be successful on your phone.
Unavailiblity and uneven distribution of a decent smartphone
Nokia, Sony Ericsson and RIM are the leading smartphone sellers in the country, so the issue is that non-tech aware citizen in the country don’t even know that they don’t know what powers a real smartphone with fully touch screen capability has in store. Lets start with Nokia, if we look at the current line of the phone available in India a smartphone is a qwerty phone with email and looks like a blackberry. Both Sony Ericsson and Nokia have been launching phones with an outdated OS called symbian and provide no support in terms of bug fixes and firmware updates. Sony Ericsson has said that they have Left the Symbian Ship, but doing still the same with android. The new samsung HTC and the motorola line of good android phones haven’t made much ground in India but are getting there as more and more people are getting aware. So if used the E series or the might n97 or SE’s xperia line X1 X2 and X1o, you have seen nothing yet.
Now if you think if you got the phone from Airtel and Vodafone ‘all is well’, it until some so bad happens to the phone that either capable to fix it yourself and you are not able to find it on the internet (some thing like a hardware issue) and you really need technical support, well now the problem is there is a very good possibility that the Airtel and Vodafone in your city cant fix the phone and you need to take it to the nearest ‘Headquaters’ also the reliance iStores are very scarce speacially in the north.
All is definitely not well for the for the iPeople in India but…. (Yes there is a “BUT”), if Airtel and Vodafone shed their Ego and give this phone at reasonable price for the their loyal iCustomers with a decent one and half or a two year contract, then this phone can break and make some records in India as well. Also if the phone is available unlocked with a decent price tag other carriers will then soon join the party and make the services hassle free for the iPhone users.