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Rediff.com  » Business » Celebs, corporate heads excited about iPhone

Celebs, corporate heads excited about iPhone

June 11, 2008 10:39 IST

A single model of Nokia, the N95, sold around 5.5 million units from March 2007 to date as against Apple iPhone's six million units sold since its launch in June 2007.

The Finnish handset giant, however, has never been able to cope with the mystique that surrounds Apple CEO Steve Jobs' iPhone, which has been illegally imported and unlocked by hundreds of Indians - corporate chiefs and celebrities included.

Jobs has now announced a 3G version of the device with full global positioning system for just $199 (around Rs 8,400) for the 8GB model and $299 (Rs 12,600) for the 16GB version.

Compare this with the Rs 25,500 price tag of a Nokia E90 Communicator or Rs 19,000 of HTC's latest mobile phone Touch Diamond. The slashed prices are expected to lift its sales, and Jobs hopes to sell 10 million units worldwide by 2010.

The new iPhone will go on sale on July 11 in 70 countries. The Indian telecom operators include Airtel and Vodafone, but the exact iPhone prices and launch dates for India have not been disclosed. Besides, the government is yet to sort out the 3G spectrum issue.

Nevertheless, iPhone lovers are excited. For instance, the latest Bollywood heartthrob, Sikander Kher -- who unlocked the iPhone himself - lauds Apple's pricing.

"I paid Rs 15,000 for the older 8GB model, which now seems obsolete. At just Rs 8,500 for the 8GB model, iPhone could beat Nokia and others hands down," he says.

Salil Bhargava, CEO of Jump Games, and Dhruv Shringi, managing director, Yatra, too are eager to dump their BlackBerries for an iPhone. "I own an unlocked iPhone but the new 3G phone would be a great device while travelling to countries like Europe," notes Bhargava.

Shringi, on the other hand, is quite keen to buy the 8GB iPhone. Bhargava along with his 10 colleagues, swear by the iPhone's browser and touch-based user interface. 

R Subramanian, managing director, Subhiksha, too says he will switch to the new 3G phone, once 3G is introduced in India. Gartner predicts there will be around 106 million 3G and 58 million GPS-enabled devices in the Asia-Pacific region by 2009.

But there are few like Shankar Mahadevan, music composer and singer, who switched to Nokia keypads after trying hard to master iPhone's touch interface.

"Having bought an unlocked iPhone, I had limited usage of the phone. But since I am an SMS-savvy person, I could not get around with the Apple touch screen."

Leslie D'Monte & Priyanka Joshi in Mumbai
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