Oct. 16--On Monday, Reliance and Airtel had confirmed that the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will be available in India from 1 November and on Tuesday, Apple has also issued a release confirming the price of the new handsets in India. The new phones will be available in just over a dozen countries from 1 November and the India pricing for the new handsets will start at Rs.41,900 for the iPhone 5C and Rs.53,500 for the iPhone 5S.
The 32GB of the iPhone 5C will also cost Rs.53,500, while the iPhone 5S 32GB is priced at Rs.62,500, and the 64GB version will cost Rs.71,500. The iPhone 4S meanwhile is seeing a price drop to Rs.31,500 for the 8GB model.
While social media is filled with people tweeting about #ThingsCheaperThan5S, this is actually pretty much in line with industry expectations, and given recent trends in the smartphone market, seems to be very reasonable pricing. It's worth noting that when the iPhone 5 was launched last year for Rs.45,500, the dollar was at Rs.55.45. Since then, the rupee has fallen considerably, and today, is at 61.7 to the dollar. If Apple had raised the cost of the iPhone 5 in response to the dollar fluctuations, the way most other handset manufacturers did in India, then the discussion today would seem irrelevant.
At the same time, they have in fact been able to sell a new iPhone 5, for a lower price than the original iPhone 5. The newly launched iPhone 5C, which is available for Rs.41,900 onwards, has many of the same internal components as the original iPhone 5, but is being sold for less than the launch price of that phone, despite the rise caused by variations in the exchange rate. The 'C' in the iPhone 5C was not supposed to mean cheap, no matter what the rumour mill said; however, it's safe to say that the iPhone 5C stands out as a high value iPhone.
The fact is though, that the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 both launched at around the same price (Rs.44,500 and Rs.45,500 respectively) and based on that, people might have been expecting a similar price for the iPhone 5S as well. It's worth noting though that the iPhone 4 launched in India for Rs.34,500, so this kind of shift in price is not unprecedented.
In the iPhone 5S, Apple is bringing in new hardware that makes it much faster, while bringing about improvements in the camera, and also a new technology called Touch ID, which is essentially a fingerprint sensor that can unlock your phone. It's also available in one more colour than is the norm for Apple; the phone has been launched with a gold variant which most experts feel will be very popular in Asia and India.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 5C features many of the same components as the iPhone 5 did, but with an all new design, and both phones also come with iOS 7, which is the most drastic iOS update in recent times. The reaction to iOS 7 has been mixed, at best, but there are some real improvements to core functions such as the browser, multitasking, and there's a new control center that gives you access to important features like the flashlight quickly.
Both phones will be available from 1 November with Reliance and Airtel having confirmed that they are going to be selling the handsets from their stores and Airtel retail stores are now letting customers pre-register to buy the phones.