Thursday, August 21, 2008

3G iPhone Coming to India

20th August, 2008 - Writing this post from the office, news is, the 3G iPhone is set for launch on 22nd August 2008 across India via Vodafone and Airtel. Both have not disclosed the price and it is just 48 Hours for the launch, can you believe that?? Not to mention any AD, print or screen on how to use the iPhone, as if everyone in India is iPhone ready, Duh!!

I can forsee a doomsday on Day 1 itself, if the US can have an Activation Server down problem, imagine India with 3 times the US population. Not to mention the price itself, the juice is that Vodafone is packaging the 8GB Model for 31K. Ofcourse, with that kind of price there should be NO problem with the Activation Server, coz there will be nobody in the stores to Buy or Activate the iPhone

Let me take you through the absolute basic differences between a 2G and 3G iPhone and why you must choose ONLY and ONLY if one was less expensive than the other

  1. As the name suggests, 3G iPhone will support 3G Network Connectivity, here is the juice, no Network provider in India is 3G today, so you will end up buying a 3G phone to use it with 2G network. Yes, there are talks about 3G coming to India and blah...blah...blah, assuming whenever it comes and ONLY GOD knows when that is, the Network provider will milk you with his 3G Service charges, just ask any of your buddies in the US how much they pay for the Data plan every month. As for 2G browsing speed, it is more than reasonable for a hand-held device, with Exchange ActiveSync I get my Office mails in my iPhone in less than 3 seconds from the time a mail is received in my Outlook. I dont think 3G is going to get me my mails in milliseconds.
  2. The second hardware comparison is the ability to use Maps with GPS, again Satellites and Tower positions and WiFi Hotspots in the US makes the 3G iPhone perfect for navigation. In India however, GPS is going to be tough to use and navigate considering the gullis that have a pincode and some that dont. Just stop your vehicle, look around and you will find a better GPS (rickshaw-wallah, pan-wallah, taxi-wallah, goonde-mawali, dhobi...even a cow, where there is cow there is a temple around..remember?) The 2G is capable of locating a destination or distance between two locations anywhere in the world with Satellite images. To find your existing location, you have third-party App called "Locate Me" and that will fill what you are looking for
  3. This is where I give it to the 3G hands-down, the Universal Headphone jack, 2G requires an adpator and if you cant find one, you will end up with the sorry white Apple headphones to listen to music and watch videos. I ordered my adaptor via a friend in London who came visting India and it cost me 600/- INR. I'm sure if you look around in your city, some stores like Manish Market in Mumbai will have that adaptor for the same price that I got it for or less. Rememeber, you CAN GET ALMOST ANYTHING IN INDIA
  4. Another major advantage of 3G over 2G is, any hardware damage to the phone and it will be covered under Warranty, especially cover for the battery, iPhone batteries are not replaceable, Apple sends you a new phone as replacement

So there you go, 4 basic HARDWARE differences between a 2G and 3G iPhone, if you still want to buy the 3G, just make sure it is CHEAP. As I write this, the 2G 8GB Model is available for 18K (prices may vary from vendor to vendor), I got mine for 21K 5 Months back

As for the SOFTWARE, do not even bother, both 2G and 3G can be jailbroken (hacked) and you can "pimp" them. 2G can be upgraded to the latest software that comes bundled with the 3G, it can be further upgraded as Apple releases new updates in the future, just find a GEEK to do that for you, if you are wondering if I can be of any help, sure, I'll charge you more than what the 3G costs ;)

Yes, not to forget the new 3G iPhone still has not overcome the following limitations from the original version

  1. Cannot use it like a hard drive to store regular data
  2. No A2DP support for Bluetooth (you cannot listen to streaming music via bluetooth stereo headset). No Bluetooth pairing of devices so no file-sharing. Bluetooth is limited to phone+mic headset to attend calls
  3. No option for Replacement Battery
  4. No Video Capture (possible with jailbreak)
  5. No Zoom on Camera; No Flash; 2 Megapixel (yes, I do believe it is a limitation for a 20K+ phone)
  6. No Flash/Java support in Safari browser (even after jailbreak)
  7. No support for OWA (Outlook Web Access) in the Safari browser (even after jailbreak)
  8. Media formats, like only MP4 (Video) & AAC (Audio) will play on the iPhone (even after jailbreak)

I hope this information helps you to make a wise decision in the days ahead. Whatever you choose, don't look back, "the grass is always green on the other side". That's it for now, I'll keep a tab on how the launch takes-off and update this post. Post your Comments and feel free to ask me Questions

23rd August, 2008 - I couldn't believe when they told me, "iPhone having a midnight launch in India", that has got to be the joke of the year, quite frankly I dont know why people flocked the stores on a midnight for a Harry Potter novel as well but atleast it wasn't priced at 30+k. So as was the expectation, there was no serpentine queues to grab the iPhone and the Service Providers roped in third-grade celebrites to make the most of the ocassion.

I finally saw an iPhone Ad on the TV and it was so quick, consumers in India wont even realize that if they received a SMS there is no way to FORWARD it...duh! I really dont think India is ready to milk the iPhone for what it is worth, unless they had planned to attract the younger generation which is hooked to the Internet 24X7 and how on earth did they think this segment could afford a 31K phone. I'm sure a rich daddy has already gifted the iPhone to his rich daughter but hey look around, show me how many rich daddys you are rubbing shoulders with. Well, I wish the Service Providers good luck and Consumers good sense ;)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shiva,

I bet you have done your homework very well... i guess you have enough info about iPhone to launch modified version of shivPhone ;) Thanks man really informative and exploring the unexplored area of iPhone :)