Costing Rs 31,000, the iPhone 3G has a few drawbacks. The phone's USP is that it includes an iPod with mobile phone and 3G while apart from this, the iPhone does not have FM radio and SMS forwarding is not allowed.
“The iPhone 3G cannot be compared with any other mobile phone, and is very expensive as it has a very wide touch screen. Though it doesn't have some of the features or tools offered by the other mobile companies, it has its own features, which are not available on any other phone,” said COO of Bharti Airtel- Gujarat Circle, Sharlin Thayil.
In the US, the iPhone 3G is available at around $199. “However, it is sold on the basis of a contract, and so cannot be used in India,” said Thayil.
Yet, many tech-savvy customers buy the phone from the US, decode it and use it here. “With all charges of decoding or cracking its lock, iPhones bought in US wouldn't cost more than Rs 15,000 in India. Although it was launched less than 24 hours ago in the country, it is already being used here,” said mobile shop owner, Dhaval Padiyar of Dhaval Traders.
Nokia's recently launched N96 is the only phone which can rival the iPhone 3G. The N96 costs around Rs 35,000 and comes with an integrated A-GPS that links with both satellites and local networks for navigation. The Nokia Maps 2.0 application has three country maps, including India along with upgrade options such as city guides, turn-by-turn pedestrian mode and voice-guided navigation for cars.
The N96 has a mobile TV and video calls feature using the front side VGA cam. The N96 comes with a 5 mega pixel camera, while the iPhone sports a 2 mega pixel camera. Most important, the N96 has more storage capacity than the iPhone, which can be a minus point for iPhone for music buffs.
“So far, the N96 is the only phone which can give a good competition to iPhone. In Gujarat, people are crazy after Nokia phones and so iPhone 3G may not be that successful,” Padiyar added.
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