How to buy an Apple iPhone in India ? What is the price of iPhone 3G in India? When will iPhone 3G S be launched in India? Will an unlocked iPhone 3G you bought in US or UK work here? Vodafone and Airtel are selling iPhone 3G but does India have 3G?
Read this quick iPhone FAQ Guide before you purchase an iPhone 3G from Indian mobile phone dealers.
1. Is iPhone available in India – Yes, you can buy the iPhone 3G smart phone here.
Update: iPhone 3G S (also known as the video iPhone since it can record video) is expected to become available in India in August. You can ask someone in US to buy an iPhone 3G S for you but there are no unlock software currently available for 3G S (iPhone OS 3.0) so the phone may not work here at the moment.
Related: Compare iPhone 3G with iPhone 3G S
2. Where can I buy iPhone in India – You can either buy Apple phone from Vodafone or Airtel (official Apple partners) or you can order it on eBay or buy it unlocked from mobile shops in Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderbad, Mumbai, Chennai, etc.
Alternatively, some online underground sites are also selling unlocked iPhone in India but these unofficial iPhone suppliers in India do not share their contact address so be careful in case you run into shipping problems.
3. Will Indian iPhone work with the GSM SIM card of Airtel, Idea, BSNL or Tata? If you buy an old unlocked iPhone (not iPhone 3G), it will work with GSM networks here but you cannot use the Visual Voicemail feature of iPhone. Also, iPhone is GSM based so it may not work with Tata Indicom or Reliance CDMA network.
4. Can I buy an unlocked iPhone in US and use it in India – Yes, any old iPhone bought in US (or UK or Canada) works in India – you can just buy a local SIM card in India and replace the AT&T SIM. Make sure you read the Apple policies as this may break the warranty.
5. I bought an iPhone in US and am traveling to India on a business trip. How can I save on iPhone international roaming charges while making phone calls in India – Do not use the AT&T call service, instead make phone call over VoIP using the Wi-Fi option of iPhone. You can use Jajah or even Skype to make cheap international calls over the Internet.
6. What is the price of iPhone in India – The unofficial unlocked 4GB iphone is around 20k while the 8GB unlocked iPhone costs around 30k. (includes shipping and taxes). iPhone 3G, through official channels, is available in 8GB and 16GB model priced at Rs 31,000 and Rs 36,100 respectively.
Update: With the launch of iPhone 3G S, the official price of iPhone 3G might come down. We still don’t know the price of iPhone 3GS in India but iPhone 3G should cost less.
7. What about iPhone 3G data plans – The monthly rent for iPhone will range from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 depending on your Internet requirements. There’s no option for an “unlimited data” plan.
9. Should I buy an iPhone or invest in a BlackBerry or Nokia N95 ? Read this comparison of smartphones – iPhone vs Blackberry, N95. Check these iPhone typing tutorials to see if you can type faster with the touch-screen keyboard. And this online size tool will help you compare the dimensions of iPhone with you existing mobile phone.
10. How do I buy an iPhone officially ? While you can’t buy that yet, pre-register iPhone with either Airtel or Vodafone.
11. What is the launch date of iPhone in India – Both Airtel and Vodafone will launch iPhone 3g on August 22, 2008.
12. I have an old iPhone v1.0 – should I upgrade to iPhone 3G ? While 3G means better data transfer speeds that GPRS / EDGE, you really can’t take advantage of the speed here in India because 3G isn’t available. Other than speed, the iPhone Apps store can be accessed from the old iPhone as well if you download and install the iPhone firmware upgrade via iTunes. Also see iPhone 3G Review.
13. What about the Apple Store in India – iPhone will be sold only via Airtel and Vodafone stores. The Apple stores that you have in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi, etc are greate for buying Macbooks, iPod, Apple TV and other Apple products but they won’t stock the iPhone 3G.
iPhone is a quad-band GSM mobile phone so it will working internationally in countries outside the US though you’ll have to ask AT&T to turn on international roaming on the iPhone and that the places you’re going offer GSM coverage.
If you want to learn more about iPhone, here are iPhone books and iPhone tutorial DVDs that you may buy from Amazon.