Why Apple might still launch the iPhone 4 in India and why it might still make sense to buy one
India is not exactly the country where one would like to buy the iPhone. For starters, it is probably amongst the last countries where (if) it is launched and carriers tend to lock it to their network without subsidizing it. But that does not stop potential iPhone users, who do not want to buy one from the grey market or get an international carrier locked one, from waiting for the day to come when Apple would finally launch the iPhone 4 in India. Well, I believe that day is finally coming.Apple today announced its annual WWDC event will take place on June 6. Since 2007, this has been the event where Apple unveils the latest iPhone to the world. However, things might be different this year. Check out this excerpt from the press release:
“At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.”
This statement alone has lead many pundits (some with “insider info”) to believe that Apple will not launch the iPhone 5 at WWDC and many are claiming that the next gen iPhone will be launched sometime in Fall, just before the Holiday shopping season. Makes perfect sense, considering that Apple has announced it will make the white iPhone 4 available this Spring and the fact that it would probably like both the AT&T and Verizon versions at par.
But what does it mean for us, living here in India? Well, one thing is for sure, no matter when Apple launches the iPhone 5 in the US and international markets, India will not be in the first (or even second) wave. Assuming the new iPhone will be in high demand and short supply during Christmas, it is very unlikely to be available in grey markets in bulk either. So one would have to wait till early 2012 to get their hands on a brand new iPhone that might have a sink thrown in for good measure.
From a few casual chats I have had with people in the business, Apple is indeed looking at launching the iPhone 4 in India. It did not make sense to me a couple of months ago – why would anyone in their right mind would buy the iPhone 4 in April when the new one is expected a couple of months down the line? But the scenario changes if Apple does not a new iPhone two months down the line.
On the contrary, with some sort of 3G services being offered in the country, the iPhone 4 in my books is probably the best 3G phone one can buy. And without having the fear that the phone might become ‘obsolete’ in a couple of months, it makes good sense to buy one locally with all the paperwork in place.
I was also told that I’d be “pleasantly surprised” when Apple reveals its iPhone launch plans for India. Well, April is just around the corner and I’d advise you to stay tuned in.