Friday, August 22, 2008

Will the iphone click here?

Times of India has a nice report on the launch of the iphone. The iphone, has obviously been waited upon with bated breath in the media. The earlier version of the iphone is a big hit. You can see it everywhere. Unlocked as it is, it is a big hit. But will the new one click in India, especially with its super high price tag of 31000 INR and 36100 INR for the 8 and 16 GB model respectively? I am not enthused about it and time will tell me if I am right or wrong. Heres why:

Unlike the US, phones in India have rarely been offered as a "locked" to a service provider. If you dont count the Blackberry which is mostly for business users, no phone was locked to a service provider or vice versa. So, while the iphone is unarguably is a paradigm shifting device, locking yourself to a device does not seem to me to be a great idea. Not to be undone, Nokia and the others are waiting with their high end handsets without the "locks". This will be an interesting battle and I suspect Nokia/Samsung will spoil Apples party here.

This is a device clearly aimed at the elite. That means, volumes will be lower, which means developing apps may not happen so much with other volume driven players. It remains to be seen what is the sort of demographic that picks up this phone...

India is also a place where cellphones tend to get lost every now and then. So, if you get stuck to this gadget, it is a big risk. Sure, the rich and famous will own one, but it is not the kind of thing the average N series toting chap will pick up. I have also seen many guys changing their phone often, but this is anecdotal...

3G here is still some way behind as compared to US. So, that will be another deterrent. Also remember, networks arent as good all over the country. Coverage is spotty in a lot of places.

So, my verdict is, it is a great gadget, but too pricey for India. Wait till Nokia/Samsung come up with a similar or better one - and it is perhaps round the corner as well...

3 comments:

venkatramanan said...

Boss!
Have you checked this?
(http://www.thesmarttechie.com/magazine/fullstory.php/NTZG446939403)
Nice insights & Explains why in India iphone is not subsidized & what might be its consequences! & some highlights also in my collection (http://venkatramanan.wiki.zoho.com/Why-iPhone-3G-will-be-a-Dud-in-India.html)

Dave Tait said...

Reputation counts a lot too, and being first to market doesn't always work.
http://www.emergingfutureslab.com/perspective_20/2008/08/future-mobile-e.html

niti bhan said...

venkatraman, thanks for the great links on the analysis of the iPhone and its scenario for success (or failure) in the Indian market. Super, boss!