Apple's latest smartphone will be reaching Indian stores on 2 November, distributed by reseller Ingram Micro, with an expected price of Rs.45,000 for the cheapest model.
As reported earlier, Apple's iPhone 5 is not being distributed by carriers unlike previous models. The price has not been announced. While earlier reports had suggested that the phone would be on sale from today, 26 October, it appears that delays in getting stocks to India are responsible for the 2 November launch.
It's reasonable to expect a price of Rs.45,000, since the cost of the iPhone 4S has been dropped to Rs.38,500, and the iPhone 4 is now available for Rs.26,500. An unlocked iPhone 5 costs the equivalent of around Rs.43,600 in Singapore, which is in keeping with last year's iPhone 4S launch price, leading many to believe that the latest version will be Rs.43,000-Rs.45,000 in India. According to a statement issued by Ingram Micro, "it will offer (the) iPhone 5 at leading modern trade and retail outlets across India, beginning Friday, November 2." Pricing will only be announced that day.
There was no word on the number of units that would be initially available, given that "Apple is facing supply constraints globally," said New Delhi-based Rajat Agrawal, executive editor of global technology publication BGR India.
At the same time, Apple's increasing focus on international markets may be reflected in the local currency rates being shown for many countries (including India), rather than the price in dollars.
While carriers are not distributing the iPhone 5 directly, most have ordered the new nano SIM card that's used by the device. The iPhone 4S, several Android phones such as the HTC One X and the iPad require a micro SIM, that can be made by cutting regular-sized SIM cards. Such do-it-yourself approaches may not work for nano SIMs.
Vodafone, Airtel and MTNL have already started to offer nano SIMs.
The iPhone 5 has met with positive reviews and strong sales. Launch sales were a record for the company, and Apple said in its earnings report last night that the company made an $8.2 billion profit on iPhone sales. Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter, representing a 58% unit growth over the year-ago quarter. "Our supply output is significantly higher than it was in early October," chief executive officer (CEO) Tim Cook said, referring to the iPhone 5. "And I'm confident that we'll be able to supply quite a few during the quarter."
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