Airtel is one of the key private mobile service providers in India and have confirmed the launch of the Apple iPhone 3GS in India on 26th March 2010. I know it sounds very awkward when we are looking forwarded to an iPhone 4G launch in USA in a few months, Airtel and Apple are launching iPhone 3GS in India.
Price Of iPhone 3GS In India
Price of iPhone 3GS is very high as per the Indian consumer average spending power:
- iPhone 3GS 16 GB – Rs. 35500 (nearly $800)
- iPhone 3GS 32 GB – Rs. 41400 (nearly $920)
That too for a locked iPhone, which means that the iPhone 3GS in India will be locked at software level to work with Airtel SIM card only.
iPhone 3GS Contract Details In India
The iPhone 3GS will come with one year data plan contract with Airtel. The point to note here is that Airtel still does not have 3G data license as on date and the best it can offer on data services is EDGE network which is mush slower compared to a 3G network which is currently available in India with MTNL and BSNL only. Even if you pay such a hefty amount, you will not be able to use MTNL / BSNL 3G on your iPhone until you jailbreak and unlock it, which makes your phone’s warranty void.
iPhone 3GS Data Plan With Airtel
The iPhone contract with Airtel includes the bundles data usage of 500 MB data every month for a year from the date of their iPhone 3GS activation. To take advantage of this offer, customers should call 121. Airtel customers can purchase iPhone 3GS from Airtel authorized retail stores across India including select Airtel Relationship Centers.
Should I Buy iPhone 3GS With Airtel ?
This is a difficult question to answer in a general way, but if you ask me, I would not buy one. Reason is very clear, the price does not justify a locked iPhone with one year contract and especially when there is no 3G network connectivity. I would rather ask a friend returning from USA or Hong Kong to buy me an unlocked iPhone 3GS from there which would cost at most $600 in USA.
This is my personal view, if you don’t mind spending the amount and want to maintain only an Airtel connection for some reason, you should buy it.