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An update on iPhone 5 launch in India

We exclusively reported earlier about Apple's plans to launch the iPhone 5 in India on October 26. Since our exclusive report, we have had the mainstream press citing their own "industry sources" clai

We exclusively reported earlier about Apple’s plans to launch the iPhone 5 in India on October 26. Since our exclusive report, we have had the mainstream press citing their own “industry sources” claiming the same. Some even reported about pre-orders for the iPhone 5 going live on October 19 in India, which of course did not happen. We are less than a week away from October 26 and we have been hearing a lot of chatter from our sources in the past couple of weeks. We have been getting a lot of requests from our readers on the current status of the iPhone 5 launch in India and it is time we provided them with an update. Will Apple announce the iPhone 5 launch in India on October 26? Most likely. Will it be available to buy on October 26? Highly unlikely. Read on for details.

Over the past couple of weeks we had been hearing about a change of plans regarding the iPhone 5’s India launch. The chatter began when Apple slashed the price of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S for the second time. We have now learned that Apple was still considering the final pricing of the iPhone 5 at that time. The second price cut would have signaled that Apple had settled for a lower price than initially intended.

Truth be told, a source had warned us initially that the exact launch date was “fluid” but we had more credible sources, who have proven to be accurate in the past for iPhone launches in India, backing October 26 as the “launch” date. All our sources, including the one that called the launch date fluid, still maintain the “announcement” will indeed happen on October 26. Apple could possibly announce the list of countries where the iPhone 5 is launching next at its iPad mini launch event tomorrow, but we are a little sceptical about that happening. However, the iPhone 5 will be available in India only on November 2, we are told.

Apple is currently facing severe stock shortage for the iPhone 5 and that has impacted its global launch plans. In order to ensure it launches in 100 countries before the year ends, Apple is likely to release limited stocks in multiple countries. It has already done so in most countries where the iPhone 5 remains out of stock and that is likely to be the case till January as it ensures there is enough stock in the US and some other countries for the holiday shopping period. So there will be limited stock available on launch day in India as Apple’s distributors want to ensure it is available in as many cities as possible.

Another twist in the tale is that carriers would also sell the iPhone 5 in their stores. This time, however, they won’t distribute the phone like Airtel and Aircel did with the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. Instead, they will get stocks from Apple’s distributors (Redington and Ingram Micro) and sell it in their stores along with iPhone 5 plans. However, the chances of having reverse subsidy tariff plans are very unlikely. We also expect multiple carriers to offer the iPhone 5 in India, in addition to Airtel and Aircel.

As far as Nano SIM cards are concerned, we have already seen them from Vodafone and more carriers will start distributing them later this week as they prepare for the launch. We are likely to provide yet another update tomorrow as we are expecting some more details to come our way, stay tuned.

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  • Published Date: October 22, 2012 10:36 PM IST