Exclusive: Aircel, Airtel won’t sell iPhone 5 in India as Apple takes over control

Apple’s Indian carrier partners Aircel and Airtel won’t sell the iPhone 5 in India this year. Instead, Apple will take over the distribution process for the iPhone 5 as well as the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, multiple sources have confirmed to BGR India. Apple India has appointed Ingram Micro and Redington for distributing iPhones and has already ramped up its sales team to prepare for the iPhone 5 launch.

However, multiple carriers, including Aircel and Airtel, will be offering special tariff plans for the iPhone 5. BGR India earlier exclusively reported details of carriers placing orders for Nano SIMs that the iPhone 5 uses. Users who buy the iPhone 5 will be required to swap their existing SIM card to a Nano SIM from their carrier. The Nano SIM card package will also include adapters to convert it to a Micro SIM or a regular SIM to ensure the user is able to use it with other phones too.

Carriers don’t want to miss out on the iPhone 5 as it is used mostly by high value subscribers. Considering Aircel and Airtel are no longer the preferred partners, it will be a level playing field for multiple carriers.

The change in distribution model for the iPhone should not come as a surprise to those who have been following Tim Cook and his views about the importance of India for Apple. During his last earnings call, Tim Cook had said he loved India and business is growing there but mentioned that a “multi-layer distribution model” was adding to the cost of products. Probably this would be one way Apple can tackle the situation and hopefully bring the iPhone at some saner price points.

  • faizal

    That’s great..so the price will be rational around 39900 MRP..

  • http://raghupro.com Raghu Chandra Prodduturi

    Niceee. I hope the prices are a bit more sane like in the case of iPad 3. I think iPad 3 costs just as much as it costs in US. May be Apple is making a bit lesser profit in India as it has to pay import duty and stuff as well but still is maintaing the same price as in US.

  • sachin

    Oh BGR i love you guys. I do believe that this time the price will be a bit cheaper. Yay

  • vineet

    A sub-40k price mark would be best as was the case with launch of iphone 4 @ 34500. I’d say 39k would be a great price seeing as rupee is weak as compared to $$$.
    As always only BGR india can manage to get first-hand Apple news like with iphone 4s last year.Gr8:)

  • nkp

    wow yaar finally found a site which give news related to india. one more thing can you please anything about availibility and pricing of s duos

  • harish

    I regularly visit this site its good but last yr they posted abt refurbished iphone-4 which was fake thars i dont belive u

    • http://raghupro.com Raghu Chandra Prodduturi

      That piece of news was totally true. There were some refurb phones sold indeed but it was offered to corporates only.

  • Vishal Duggal

    I am really looking forward to buy an iPhone 5, but still I have my concerns about Nano Sim.
    Price does not matter that much as long as it is not more than 80K-90K, that would be insane.

    • Jatin

      Airtel, Aircel and Vodafone will provide nano-sim for iPhone 5.

      • Vishal Duggal

        Thanks for the wrap-up, Apple is making it so hard for us to buy iPhone.
        But still it has it’s rewards. So many apps. iCloud, Better hardware (Design) and the ecosystem.

  • Salman

    Apple Apple Apple.. I am soo excited can’t wait to get my hands on one, Apple I guess is the most loved brand.. iPhone 5 India is all set and ready to grab so come as soon as possible.. Miss you Steve jobs..!!

  • http://www.iwebtool.com/tool/tools/code_viewer/code_viewer.php?domain=:getu-url: yogesh

    i love you Apple

  • Hargobind Shan

    gr8 update BGR

  • Bharat

    We Indian love apple so much but apple does not for India as much.
    Half the features of ios6 not available in India
    Tim cook said India is not its priority list
    Google has already launched turn by turn navigation in India but apple does even care.
    People who have used blackberry will how bad service at Redington is, now apple has appointed Redington for service in India so good luck with those expensive phones going down the drain with redington. Redington are known for making money even if your phone is in warranty.

    Ps: apple is good company but why give so much importance to a company who doesn’t consider us as important. Google and windows more features then apple and consider india as a ver important market.

  • Tejas

    iphone 4 price Rs 28000
    Iphone 4s Price Rs 40000
    Iphone 5 price Rs 47000

  • sachin

    Prices will be around-

    iPhone 4 8GB-> [365$ in US + 4000] = 23,000

    iPhone 4S 16GB-> (No 8GB) [549$ in US + 4500] = 34,500

    iPhone 5 16GB-> [649$ IN US + 5500] = 41,000

    These might be the prices if apple sells without Airtel & Aircel.
    Like in the case of an iPad, apple itself sells it with a premium of 4-5k.

    • vineet

      Looks like prices have been revealed. You would think after avoiding carriers apple will slash the prices..Acc to reports iphone 5 16gb will sell for 45500..apple-greedy much??

      • sachin

        Hi,
        These prices aren’t official, but yeah apple may cut the prices little bit. As tim cook blamed the “multiple distribution system” for the insane prices of iPhone’s in india.
        Also its worth noting that apple itself distributes iPads in india with only 4-5k premium. So i hope same will go for an iPhone 5.

  • Karan

    Hello Rajat, I want to know whether you collect information from reliable sources or not? Previously you had posted that Apple will be starting to sell refurbished iphone 4 for 22000 in India.But it has been an year and they never came up at redginton or any authorised store. Similarly i have been following your blog from a long and had found many stories that never came up true.

    • Sachin

      Dear Karan,

      Bgr.in is an incredible, reliable and the “only source” for apple news/rumors in india. They have a great record of almost true/confirmed apple related news in india.
      They were the first to broke the news of both iPhone 4S & iPhone 4 pricing & launching in india and it turned out that they were 100% right.

      In the case of refurbished iPhone 4, they already made it clear that it was distributed among the staff and very few key people.

  • stevejobszombie

    well slap my tits and call me susan. can’t wait muthafukas!!

  • Firangibhai.com
  • Anand

    “Carriers don’t want to miss out on the iPhone 5 as it is used mostly by high value subscribers….”
    No man, not at all.. They are not high value subscribers, but they are senseless people ready to spend anything on anything CRAP. So the companies have a simple strategy, why not pull money from these people as much as you can!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407163503 Candra

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  • Ivan

    How can i get an Aircel nanosim for my iphone 5? Coming to India next month

  • Ivan

    How can i get an Aircel nanosim for my iphone 5? Coming to India next month