Like Vodafone, Airtel asks $1,000 for iPhone 3G in India

Hefty price makes some Indian customers have second thoughts

Bharti Airtel will be selling the iPhone 3G phone from Apple from Aug. 22 at prices similar to those announced by Vodafone Essar on Tuesday.

Both mobile services providers are offering the iPhone 3G with an 8GB flash drive at a hefty price of 31,000 rupees (NZ$1,000). The 16GB version is priced at 36,100 rupees.

The entry-level version is expensive by Indian standards, and a number of prospective customers were disappointed at the pricing announced by the two mobile service providers. Some were hoping that the price of the iPhone 3G would be subsidised by the service providers.

In the US, for example, AT&T is offering the 8GB model of the iPhone 3G at US$199, after bundling it with a two-year contract.

"We see the iPhone 3G as a lifestyle product, but both Airtel and Vodafone have priced them at levels similar to business mobile phones," said R. Satish, a software engineer in Bangalore.

Both Airtel and Vodafone are planning midnight events to launch the phone. The crowds at the events planned at the service providers' outlets in key cities are expected to be large, some to buy, others out of curiosity.

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Tags iphone 3gNetworking & Telecomms ID

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