The Apple iPhone 4S is the fastest rollout for Apple globally. India got the same within 2 months of the international release and Apple has promised 70+ countries getting the 5th generation iPhone by end of the year. That’s a fast rollout and from an Indian perspective that is a quick one, given the fact that the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 took over 6 months each to make it here. The sands are shifting for sure, the Apple iPad 2 also made it to India well on time. But then the 4S came with a little surprise, the starting price was Rs 44500. That’s steep, very steep, making the iPhone from one of the costliest to THE costliest smartphone in town.
Why did this happen? No official word from Apple, in fact Apple didn’t even send a press release for this one. The carriers Airtel and Aircel are said to have co-ordinated the launch and the pricing as well (add to that the surging dollar rates compared to Indian rupee). Good, lets blame the carriers for the pricing. But wait, here is a little problem (apart from the fact that I consider Apple responsible for its product), India is not the only one getting an exorbitantly priced iPhone 4S. We have in the past seen Russia get a $990 iPhone and this time around Brazil gets the 4S at R$2599 which is USD 1410 or INR 76000. Still complaining?
It seems that either Apple’s cost of components has risen due to Japan quakes? Or the 4S they feel demands a premium? Or the faster roll-out commands a premium? Or they would do what every other company does and reduce priced in a few months? One of the key differentiators of Apple is the static price which gives you good resale value even a year later. Hope they do not venture in the land of Nokia’s and Samsung’s and reduce pricing every few months. For now, lets stop speculating, the iPhone 4S is coming to 20 new countries and at least one of them gets it at Rs 76,000 … so the Rs 44500 is not too bad in India. Feels better?