Apple has revealed prices of its unlocked versions of new iPhone 5 for US. They will be selling 16 GB version for $649, 32 GB version for $749 and 64 GB version for $849. It is another matter that majority of consumers prefer to buy high-end smartphones under contract, which turns out to be far cheaper and customers do not have to pay upfront the full price.
Additionally, the service providers almost sell the phones at net prices and earn their margins from their carrier charges. Unfortunately, this practice is not prevalent in India and all the service providers keep a margin of 10 to 15% on handsets and do not sell them under contract This is the major reason that the consumrs in India have to shell out more money to possess their dream handsets like iphones and Galaxy smartphones.
Now everybody is guessing when new iPhone will make its debut in India and at what prices it will retail in India. As per commercial logical reasoning, this new iPhone should be on the shelves of retailers by October end to take advantage of festival shopping mood of Indian buyers due to festival of light – Diwali. If this date is missed then the next date should be early December, 2012.
Another question is what will be the price of this new toy. To arrive at India price, one has to factor in prevailing margins for selling handsets, shiiping charges, custom duty involved and current rate of US Dollar. Assuming that their is margin of approx 12.5% on MRP and approx. 2% as shipping charges and 30% custom duty, the net price of iPhone 16Gb version works out to approx 40,000 and if you add margin of seller then the retail price works out to Rs. 45,000. With the same logic, the retail price of 32 GB works out to Rs. 52,000 and of 64 GB works out to Rs. 59,000.
Now another question arises, how many buyers would like to spend so much on new iPhone 5 when Smartphone Galaxy S III 16 GB is available for Rs. 34,900. Probably, only die hard Apple fans would like to buy iPhone 5 at such a high price. In order to sell in volumes, Indian carriers will have to plan out this time to start selling on contract like their counterparts in US, Europe and other countries. Probably, the time has come for Indian service providers to look at this option to increase their subscription of services and continue to make money on tariffs than on hardware.
Some of impatient Indian customers might be thinking of taking the risk of bringing in new iPhone 5 from those countries where it will start retailing on 21st September, 2012 or later. But they must be aware of the fact that for running this new toy, they would require new Nano SIM card which is not available in India yet and unfortunately, the existing micro-SIM card can’t be cut to Nano SIm card due to its thickness. So, take this important factor in mind before you ask your friend or relative to bring this device for you from overseas.