iPhone 3G Launch Dismal Failure in India (a small nation with 1.2 billion people)By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Friday, September 5, 2008
Apple launched iPhone in India, a country with only 1.2 billion people and overall not considered rich like their counterparts in USA. In USA Apple launched iPhone for $199 only. Steve Jobbs also promised that it will be similalry priced across all markets. So how did they target a market of 1.2 B with a very high mobile pernetration and nowhere as rich as USA? By pricing iPhone 3G at 4 times the US price at Rs. 31, 000 only (and lockdown for a year to the service provider) and without 3G. Imagine how the market reacted…
“Only a few buyers turned up at midnight launches done by both Airtel and Vodafone across eight cities in India,” The Economic Times reported.
After their initial launch with much fanfare, only few handsets were sold throughout the country. After about 13 days of launching only few thousands have been sold by some estimates. Why is Apple’s iPhone 3G been a dismal failure in India?
Price - Apple iPhone 3G is way overpriced
iPhone 3G is priced over 4 times in India. While India has a good market for high end phones, even from relatively unknown mobile phone vendors like Asus, iPhone 3G is unique in that it has been overpriced so much that its features are not attractive compared to its competitors.
Apple & its allies Vodaphone & Airtel have turned away lots of customers with their insanely high price point. Most potential buyers are waiting for prices to drop drastically and some to ~199$ levels.
iPhone 3G is under-featured
Imagine a Rs 30, 000 without a front facing video camera and lack of video conferencing (Gizmodo prefers to use a mirror)! In India the mobile market is quite mature and the high end mobile are very feature-rich and comparable to anywhere in the world. However unlike USA, Apple doesn’t have any brand value in India. People don’t go gaga over anything Apple creates. So Apple has to compete in terms of equivalent features for the price. Apple fails there. I have unconfirmed reports that iPhone 3G internet speed isn’t very good. The funniest thing is that iPhone 3G has been launched without having any 3G service provider. It will run over GSM only. The high-income bracket is hesitant to buy the iPhone simply because of negative perceptions about its quality and features but not its price. Apple hasn’t impressed the mobile-crazy crowd in India. Even the tech magazines and tech shows have rated iPhone 3G poorly.
I rarely use mobile phone and so my old Samsung serves me well. I don’t like to check emails on phone nor do I send SMS. The only reason I will buy an iPhone is to make my web application compatible with it. I don’t like getting fleeced. So I will just get it from USA and use it with wifi only for testing.
Would you buy an iPhone in India?
Tags: 3G, Airtel, Apple, Apple iPhone, Gizmodo, India, iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone India, Vodaphone, Web application