iPhone 5S and 5C arrive in India


iPhone-5S-and-5CNEW DELHI: The wait for iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C is over for Apple fans in India. Nearly one-and-a-half-month after its global launch, Apple has launched its new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in the Indian market.

Though the official launch event organized by Apple’s official distributor Ingram Micro is scheduled for 5PM this evening, the device is already available on e-commerce websites in the country for purchase.

Apple has priced the iPhone 5S at Rs 53,500, Rs 62,500 and Rs 71,500 for the 16, 32 and 64GB models respectively. The 16 and 32GB variants of iPhone 5C will cost Rs 41,900 and Rs 53,500 in the country.

Telecom carriers Airtel and Aircel have announced that they will offer the two iPhones with custom plans. However, Airtel’s website lists the two models with the “Coming Soon” tag, while Aircel has not listed them on its website as of now.

Reliance Communications will reportedly offer both the new Apple smartphones on a two-year contract in India. The base 16GB models of iPhone 5S and 5C will entail zero down payment and monthly subscriptions of Rs 2,850 and Rs 2,500; the company will offer free unlimited calls and SMSs (local and STD across networks) and 3G data usage. The respective 32 and 64GB variants of the new iPhones will involve down payments, though the exact amount has not been revealed as of now.

With the launch of iPhone 5S and 5C, Apple has discontinued the 16GB version of iPhone 4S, replacing it with an 8GB model. This brings down the price of the two-year-old model from Rs 38,500 to Rs 31,500, making it the cheapest iPhone officially available in the country. However, iPhone 4 is still available in the country at approximately Rs 22,000 for the base 8GB variant.

The India launch comes on the day the company launches iPad Air in major international markets and Google released its Nexus 5 smartphone and Android 4.4 mobile operating system. Google has revealed the price of its new top smartphone, placing the base 16GB model at a very competitive Rs 28,999 point.

According to the latest figures by research firm IDC, Apple has a 2.3% market share in India. On the other hand, Android and Windows Phone take the top two spots in the country with share of 91% and 5.4%, respectively.

Earlier this year, Apple announced buyback offers, where it gave a discount of up to Rs 7,000 for old handsets manufactured by Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry etc. The company is set to foray into smaller towns and cities of India, where the penetration of its products is low. CEO Tim Cook has acknowledged the role of India in increasing its sales for the last two quarters now.