Airtel and Aircel have finally announced the launch of Apple iPhone 4 in India. The Indian launch comes almost after 11 months of the international launch. It is not clear when the next iPhone is coming so it is hard to say how bad the timing of this launch is.
In any case, the launch probably showcases some maturity in the Indian mobile market. Both airtel and Aircel are offering something the market calls reverse subsidy on the iPhone 4.
In simple terms… unlike the US market where you get to buy the phone at a heavily discounted price with a two year long contract… here we have something similar but with a totally different twist.
You would be paying the full pricing of the phone which ranges between Rs. 35000 and Rs. 40000. The phone would be unlocked. And you can get discounts on your mobile bills for the next two years.
Airtel has the better offer where they are offering a maximum of Rs. 1000 discount that could save you Rs. 24000 over a period of two years.
But there are several problems with this model. First… you would be stuck with the same model for those 24 months… second… you would be stuck with the same service provider for those 2 years.
The packages on offer are not that great. Airtel is offering a 1000 rupee per month package with around 1300 MB data transfer. There are tons of free airtel to airtel calls but no free calls to other networks. You would still be paying a very high price for very little in return.
The end result is that if you really want to buy the official Indian version, it would be better to stick to your favorite service provider. Get the package that works for you instead of sticking with either airtel or Aircel.
They use a low quality button to turn off/on the device. And this button is pretty much necessary to wake up the phone. Especially in the case of a touchscreen device.
This button is unlikely to survive harsh usage and is probably going to die in a matter of months.
I remember a friend’s HTC phone (powered by Windows Mobile!) suffering a similar fate. The HTC guys took around 800 rupees to temporarily fix it. And they warned that the internals are damaged so much that care has to be taken while using the button. And if it goes bad again, a major hardware change would be required that would be pretty costly.
I guess I would probably end up having a similar problem with the Nexus One sometime next year. There are possible ways to fix it… The function to wake up the phone can be assigned to the joystick trackball (which I do not use anyways). But there are no official ways. No software configuration is available.
There are some third party apps which are very erratic in nature. I am not alone searching for a solution incidentally. It would be good if Google can incorporate such a configurable setting in the Android platform itself. Or HTC might launch an official app that does it for their devices.