Why Does India Wait for its Apple Pie

“The iPad is finally here in India, after an Year, but it’s here”

It’s the eve of 28th January 2011, the day Apple launches it’s Magical iPad in India , nearly 10 months after the United States launch and 6 months after South East Asia launch. For all the Apple fans, it was yet another long wait after a very long wait for iPhone 3GS.

Apple bashers always use this delay as an arsenal gifted to them by God. Apple fans too have been resentful in these delays.

A Question that arises “Is Apple not seriously taking the Indian market, can’t they see our big swelling middle class whom everybody is wooing?”

There is a different angle to this story, and that angle is our Telecom Policy. 3G services launch in India has been delayed for months and years firstly Army did not want to give away the spectrum they held (or so we are told) and then there was no agreement on how to sell the spectrum finally it was a long bidding process (which is anyway covered with a lot of controversies as we speak) . When the winners amongst the bidders were finally announced in May 2010, everybody expected the 3G launch by Diwali, the consumers were eagerly looking forward to it, for the providers it made business sense, but that hope went up in flames, like the crackers burstin on a warm Diwali night.

In December when every thing seemed perfect for launch, new issue was the interception (tapping) of Video calls, operators were asked to hold on their 3G launches, even today 3G is still a difficult challenge for us geeks to get working, an aam admi, is still far behind on getting 3G Access.

Now imagine this from Apple’s prospective, iPhones and iPad have been based on utilization of 3G speeds. Imagine what would they ask people to put in their 3G sim slot of iPad.

Advertisements for iPhone showed talking and browsing simultaneously using 3G, although we can do it with WiFi but on a GPRS a far fetched dream only.

Last time when I had to wait for a Mac launch in India was New Mac Mini, since then Apple Mac Products have been quick to arrive, almost matching their international launch. The MacBook Air was the fastest.

Apple has always followed the layered launch for Gadgets thats are expected to be in huge demand. iPhone 4 was first released in USA,UK, Germany, France & Japan second round of release included 18 countries including Canada, Singapore, Korea, and most of Europe. It will be our infrastructure (IT) and the demand which will decide which league of nation we are in.

If Apple thinks Indian market is good for Macs then definitely their thoughts cant be different for iPads and iPhones.

After all it is evident from the pricing that Apple has come out for the Indian Market, if I were to import it legally at the current US$ Pricing, I would end up paying the same price, if I may, a Sample calculation

16GB Wifi Model @ US$ 499  + Taxes + Shipping and Handling

Assuming Taxes + S&H amount to another 51$, we are looking at a Price of 550US$ for the 16 GB Version

At today’s US$ to INR Exchange Rate of 45.67 at the time of writing this article, the 16GB Version without (Courier charges to India, and Indian Custom Duty) will cost you Rs. 25,118.50, at a Price of Rs. 27,900 Tax Paid in India, I don’t think it’s a Bad deal.

To see the Indian Store Prices for the iPad in India, check out The Apple Website

In the mean time may I wish everyone A Happy Ipad Day (28th Jan)

The above article was written by a Great friend of mine, @maninderpals.


  1. For those of us who sometimes get privy to information that the masses are not to have, and for those of us who know Apple does not talk about it’s releases till it actually releases, the iPad Launch in India on the 28th of January 2011, has been one historic moment online, from People saying 2 Years too late, to people thinking this is Apple’s way of dumping and clearing their stocks before they launch the iPad 2.

    Late or not late, there is a set of people who would not buy it from the Grey Market, who would not want to tell a friend or a family member to get it from them, after all risking nearly 30G’s on something that may not find proper service and support in the country because it’s not been available has left enough people looking forward to the iPad Launch.

    A Big Cheers to Apple, to finally bring it to India, after all there are still countries out there, who will not get to see the launch anytime soon.

  2. Well said!!

    Another interesting thing on the iPhone 4 is the indian telecom business model. doesn’t support subsidies. and neither is it their business strategy. But in Europe n US it’s been on for atleast a decade and a half. I think Reliance tried it 8-9 yrs ago with their 501 monsoon offer. Was a big hit but was left with $1 billion hole bec ppl threw the phone away after using it for a month. how come no business / telecom wrtier wants to write on this… rather than saying apple has no india strategy.

  3. Well Said @LooneyGeek, it is important to understand that subsidies in India may not have the right catch, the 1Billion Red Big Hole was something only a giant like Reliance can take, but not something every telco will be willing to take. It is important to understand the weakness in Indian Contract law, both in terms of enforcing it, as well as getting the law makers to actually take decisions on it in Time.

    Finance in India has worked wonders, it has shown the middle class on how to buy what they wanted, albeit at long term debts, and as a friend calls, taking a house loan to buy an iPhone, but Contracts will happen soon, sadly the Indian telecom providers have been in the race to get the cheapest call rate out there, forgetting call quality, customer experience, and over all business rules, as I say, if the companies are filled with 80% or more Marketing guys, are they really looking at the customer, or is it just numbers and churning them around.

  4. @TheBigGeek – Got ma self the iPad. Couldn’t wait more than a couple of days after India launch Love it, though can’t help thinking of this as a gigantic iPod Touch (core product).

    I am in the set of people who don’t wanna buy grey/seek out a relative travelling to India, so I do welcome the opportunity to buy this legally here.

    I love the class of Apple products & just how user friendly they are; I know , though that there will be this tingling sense of uneasiness should Apple launch iPad 2 in India in next couple of months.

    I’m like a Newton waiting for the next Apple to fall on me 😀