What? Vodafone has launched the Apple iPhone 3G in India.
So? They have priced it at Rs.31,000. That's US $708.
Big Deal? Nah, just that India has no 3G operator yet.
India, the low-cost market where US companies outsource their work because it offers them cost advantage. A market with a middle-class population that surpasses the total population of Europe and is a wonderful place to do business. One might think targeting the masses here would make a very good business sense, but looks like Vodafone and Apple marketing crooks have something else in mind. Apple has also tied up with Airtel to sell iPhone in India.
A column in Economic Times read:
Interestingly, the move to partner Airtel and Vodafone marks a major shift in Apple’s global strategy of ‘one country-one operator’. With India emerging as the fastest-growing cellular market, Apple wanted to maximize its exposure here as Airtel and Vodafone have a combined subscriber base of over 120 million.
This is a huge opportunity for Apple, but as you might have guessed it already, these companies might actually goof up on this one - they are operating on EDGE network and not on 3G. This will lead to a lot many dissatisfied iPhone users. Not that there are few - iPhone users in US are already frustrated since the phone does not work properly when 3G is enabled. The iPhone has got serious reception problems and one of the main reason behind it must be an antenna free design.
Price Skimming at Work
What is price skimming? A concept of introducing a product at a higher cost and slowly decreasing (skimming) the price. Most electronic companies do this. Take your LCD displays for example.
Here's a new Price Skimming poster for marketing case-studies in Indian B-Schools. The Apple iPhone.Surely this is not the come with the latest version of the iPhone OS. The latest version is iPhone OS 2.0.2 and it still has issues with 3G networks.
If you were waiting for this phone to hit the market, take my advice and wait for a few more months as these marketing crooks are only applying Price Skimming to iPhone's price tag. I wonder why wouldn't you rather buy a smuggled one and unlock it?
Here's the email I received from Vodafone:
People who really care about managing their expenses should know that the iPhone is not worthy of a $708 price tag. I personally wanted to get an iPhone - only because I need to start developing applications on it, but seems like my wait for iPhone is far from over and has just begun.