It’s finally here. Apple Inc’s iconic iPhone debuted in India at the stroke of midnight on Friday to three lakh pre-bookings. Over 10,000 of these bookings were in Mumbai, said officials of service providers Bharti Airtel and Vodafone. This, despite it costing Rs 31,000 and Rs 36,000 (for its 8 GB and 16 GB models respectively), over three times its price in the US and Europe.
And, we don’t even have 3G yet, which the phone is built for. The technology allows new-generation services like video calls and broadband internet on the phone. But the real surprise comes from the non-metro towns. “Close to 40 per cent of our booking came from non-metro areas,” said a Bharti Airtel official.
Bharti, India’s largest cellphone service provider, and Vodafone, the third largest, are offering the iPhone. Bharti is retailing the phone at 65 towns and cities, while Vodafone is selling it at 36.Together, they have 650 stores selling the dream gizmo. There are at least two executives on exclusive iPhone duty at each store. “In Mumbai, we have 10 stores selling it,” said a Vodafone official.
Sanjay Kapoor, Bharti’s president (mobile services), added: “Over 3,000 of our employees are specially trained to explain the iPhone to customers. We have also trained our call centre executives to help.” India is the world’s fastest-growing telecom market with 290 million subscribers.
© HT Media