India finally gets iPhone 4

Posted by Raven Lovecraft

One of the last major markets to be left in the iPhone dust has now finally received the latest model.

Apple and regional partners Bharti Airtel Lts and Aircel Ltd put the iPhone 4 up for sale today, nearly one year after the device was first launched in the US.

"The slimmest smartphone has already become talk of the town and customers have shown incredible interest," said Bharti Airtel spokesperson Gaurav Makhija in a Wall Street Jouranl article.

The phone goes on sale in 35 cities across the country, reaching the majority of the nation's wealthiest populations. And it does take a wealthy person to afford an Indian iPhone 4.

The device has a considerable markup compared to the American version, with the low-end 16 GB model going on sale for 34,500 rupees. That's more than $760. The 32 GB model is around the $900 price range, with a 40,900 rupee price tag affixed to that one.

Those are the full retail prices, which is more commonly paid in India than here, though both operators are offering subsidies for customers who sign up for a new service contract.

Of course, even with those discounts, users will still be paying a lot more than the $199 that US consumers have to shell out.

India becomes perhaps the last market on Apple's radar for the device. It even comes after China, which received the iPhone 4 several months ago.

In India, there are more than 700 million activated mobile phones, though most of those are affordable, very cheap handsets. The country isn't used to fancy high-end smartphones other than its dedicated Blackberry community, but certainly there is a lot of revenue for Apple to grab a piece of now that they can finally buy the latest iGadget.