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10 Reasons why the Apple iPhone wont hit India

Submitted by on December 26, 2007 – 3:33 am 30 Comments

Apple iPhone is creating waves across the globe and the Time magazine has named the iphone as the invention of the year of 2007

No doubt that iPhone is a great device , Its a revolutionary phone – much more than a phone

But the sad part is that the iPhone has not come to India so far. Its available in the Grey markets for under Rs.30,000 but without warranty. Anyone buying it / already bought it ? I wanted to highlight why the iPhone wont be coming soon to India.

Users dont spend much on Value Added Services

I was just comparing the various mobile markets in the world where the iPhone has been introduced – USA, UK,Germany and France. These markets are places where purchasing power is more. In this context Im referring to the amount of cash the users burn on their mobile phones and related services such as ringtones,songs etc. We Indians spend a lot on phones for sure but mainly for calls and messages nothing more.

Operator Revenue Sharing wont work in India

Apple wants a cut of the revenue the operators make out of an iPhone user. This might not not work at all in a country like India where there are so many operators.

Texting or SMS is the hottest mobile thing in India

SMS is the hottest mobile service in india and the iphone sux at it and atleast when I tried the iPhone i was not comfortable with the touchscreen keypad. I will be far more comfortable typing on a Nokia 1100 or a Motorola lowend phone.

Mobile Web is not big in India but its Growing

Mobile web usage is still minimum in India. We are running a poll on mobile internet usage in India. Surprisingly 45 of the 69 voters claim to use the internet on the mobile phones. Might we get really advanced mobile users as visitors to FoneArena. But the ground reality is that mobile internet usage is still small compared to PC internet usage.iPhone Web Apps is a totally new area and mobile internet is the backbone for these iphone apps which are heavily data driven.If Apple can force the Operators like Airtel and Vodafone to bring out unlimited GPRS plans then things might change.

Locked Handset model wont work in India

Its pretty common in the USA for AT&T to release the latest mobile phone locked to its network. But I doubt whether this model will work in india. As a mobile user I want to have the freedom to change my operator / cell company as I wish. Think I change my house and Airtel has poor coverage in that area and BSNL has better coverage. I dont want to change my handset for a change for a phone number change.

Apple wants to remain a niche / Luxury brand ?

This is an open ended question. Considering the iPhone comes to India and is priced at say around 16000 rupees . How many of us will buy it ? I would say most of you reading this post will want to own a iPhone then. This means Apple is loosing its status of being a Luxury brand. If you are the guy or gal who wants to stand out from the crowd, then the iphone might not be for you – Everyone has it , whats so cool .. ill find another phone

Bluetooth File Transfers won’t work

Bluetooth file transfers are very popular in India,atleast amongst youth. iPhone does not let you share files over Bluetooth. Its got bluetooth but only for pairing with a Bluetooth Headset.

TouchScreen phones are still not popular

In a country where SMSing is so hot , touchscreen-only phones wont sell like hot cakes. HTC Touch has had some good sales, but generally users are not comfortable with touchscreen-only phones. HTC Touch Dual with a additional keypad is coming soon.But still the touch interface of the iPhone is cool but takes sometime to get used to.

No Video Recording

Video recording on a mobile phone is so much fun. The phone does have a camera but no video recording.Are you listening apple ?

Too Much Competition and lack of presence

Theres so much competition among mobile handset brands in India. So many new players are also entering the market.Nokia retains the no.1 spot in India other brands are having a tough time tackling Nokia’s continuous rise in market share. But Apple just ate Windows mobile market share in the USA. But USA is a different story. Apple has very few stores here in India and has remained a luxury brand only affordable by the rich so far.

Hope this post answers some questions about why india has not got the iPhone yet. But I have a question for you.

Do you wish that you could get the iPhone in India ? just like in the USA or UK … why not here ?


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Varun Krish is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast and has been blogging about mobile phones since 2005. His current phones include the Nokia Lumia 1020 , Apple iPhone 5S & Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition. You can follow him on Twitter @varunkrish and on Google+ You can also mail Varun Krish

  • Aj

    The article is persuasive,as a technology guy could anticipate that this a fluff gadget,Thanks for consolidating and elaborating about it’s noncompliance to Indian Market

  • Aj

    The article is persuasive,as a technology guy I could anticipate that this a fluff gadget,Thanks for consolidating and elaborating about it’s noncompliance to Indian Market

  • john

    thoughts were great,i was just going through it.
    i agree to the point that apple wants to be a luxury brand. but the ‘locked’ system is not fair as in india, there is chance of changing the sim often. right now im using sonyericsson w950i,also having touchscreen, and i didnt find it difficult to use it while sms typing, however i havent used iphone up to this day.
    you were saying about unlocking the phone in some places.could you replay me about tat places… thankyou

  • emmanuel

    plz let me know how to unlock the phone if we get it from US.becoz in US its 199$,thats around 9950 in our currency.and if we buy in indian market t comes for 30k.so plz let me know how to unlock the phone.

  • popo


  • enya

    hi. i really want to own an iphone but all these questions and reasons tht have popped up are really confusing me.. so what is the final verdict? would it be cool to go for the iphone or is the N96 a better option? or is there something better? please let me know.

  • Anand

    Iphone is a full fluff thng to buy….why would a person pay 30k for just the sake of brand name where on the other hand a person gets nokia 5800 just for (12k) 1/3 price of iphone or samsung star 3g…….
    The final verdict is dont go for iphone its just a hollow golden ball , attractive from out side and empty from inside………..

    • Hari

      I love my Iphone 3G . No cell phone beats Iphone in terms of touchscreen sensitivity . the new updated software 3.12 adds features like copy , paste , forward msgs ! Applications are fantastic ! Apple products forever !

  • maria

    its price is too much.all the features available in apple iphone are also available in other phones so there is no use to waste money joust only because of brand

  • indianninja

    I would never like an iphone.Cause?See
    iphone has high price,yet some features are lacking.Those features are present in other phones at lower price.iphone fans may flame my post, but why on earth I shall compromise for apple?Their attitude is like, you must fit yourself to iphone,and like it.A major cause is iphone dont support java.
    But its an iphone! So what?what it does that other phone can not do?mp3 player and browser and phone? Most java phones with microsd can do that, so whats the big deal?