iPhone to cost $599?


No… we don’t quiet mean in the “sell and go home” way, but more in the “sell out” way. There were rumours and much heartache ay my end when Apple announced the 3G iPhone at just $199. But, as it turns out, that’s a bit of a smokescreen especially for those who will be buying the phone outside the US. And also within:

…”These prices require two-year contracts and are available to the following customers,” said AT&T, citing “iPhone customers who purchased before July 11, customers activating a new line with AT&T [and] current AT&T customers who are eligible, at the time of purchase, for an upgrade discount.” …

Furthermore, the prices in India will be around the $599 mark as the PC World article explains. In India, no service provider as of now is offering “two-year contracts” or the like to subsidize any phone. While this remains open to speculation, Vodafone and Airtel have started accepting pre-booking of the iPhone in India.

The reason behind this could be to estimate the volumes they need to order from Apple. But on the other hand, they too could be possibly working out offers for the early birds, registrants or the whole bunch depending on volumes.

Despite all the confusion in India, though, globally, the iPhone continues to attract much attention. However, Apple seems to be selling out to the service providers. There was a time when Steve Jobs had proudly announced that the iPhone would change the mobile telephony world. Barely a year since the phone first launched, however, he seems to be totally under the service provider’s spell. While on the outside it may seem like he is calling the shots, the price variation and AT&T’s decision to offer unlocked phones may be an indication of reducing clout.

There are also rumors that Apple is indeed working on a physical keyboard for future releases of the iPhone but one shouldn’t believe that until the Big J says so himself! For the Indian (and perhaps all non-US) wannabes, the iPhone may remain a costly option. At $599 (about Rs 27,000), one can pick up the BlackBerry 8800, 8320 or just about any other premium phone with a decidedly better feature set. And the lock with a service provider is just something that won’t go down too well with Indian users.

I, for one, don’t want to change service providers just for a handset. My phone number is just too precious! Thankfully, I may have this option!

Tagged as: 8320, 8800, Apple, at&t, BlackBerry, Curve, iPhone, Steve Jobs

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