Apple's iPhone 5 unofficially available in India; Is it worth the exorbitant pricing?

26 Sep, 2012

There is no denying the success of Apple's brand new iPhone 5. Within just three days of its launch (September 21, 2012), Apple has sold over 5 million gadgets and sales are still booming. Interestingly, even though the company has not announced an Indian launch date for the smartphone, it is already available in the country – unofficially, of course. One can buy iPhone 5 from a number of online stores and also in the grey market. But is it worth a buy at the exorbitant pricing at which it is offered? Let us have a look.

India pricing

If you have recently visited areas like Heera Panna in Mumbai or Khan Market in Delhi, you are bound to know that iPhone 5 happens to be the latest craze. But the gadget surely comes with hefty price tags – starting from Rs 75,000 for the 16 GB version and going north of Rs 1 lakh for the 64 GB model.

One can also purchase it online from shopping sites like eBay.in and Getdandy.com, as well as from the classified site OLX.in, among others. The recently launched daily deals site Bhaap.com (that offers a deal a day) also claims that it will offer the iPhone 5 as a deal this Friday (28th September). The best deals that we can find are Rs 57,990 for the 16 GB version on eBay, Rs 58,800 on Getdandy.com and if you visit the online classifieds site OLX.in, you can also find deals as low Rs 55,000 for the device. But do share (in the comments section below) if you happen to find a better deal for the smartphone.

The nano SIM dilemma

But there are other issues besides pricing. The new iPhone only supports a nano SIM (which, by the way, no telecom operator is offering as of now) and you will either have to get your regular SIM card resized by a 'nano-SIM cutter' (that is, after finding someone who actually has that) or have to trim down the SIM with sandpaper. Both are risky propositions since a slight mistake would actually render the SIM card completely useless.

Is it worth the buy?

Note that in the US, the device is available for $199, $299 and $399 for the 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB versions, respectively (under a contract). But even without a contract, it is available for $649 (16 GB), $749 (32 GB) and $849 (64 GB), which would roughly translate into Rs 34,800, Rs 40,000 and Rs 45,400. Considering that India prices are always slightly higher than those of the US, the device should be priced between Rs 45,000-Rs 55,000 when it is officially launched here (it could be close to December 2012). But if you buy the device now, you will be paying double its original pricing. So it might be worth the wait.

Tech specs

To bring things in perspective, here's a quick look at its specs.

The device sports a 4 inch multi-touch retina display (1136×640 pixel resolution) with 326 pixels per inch. It is powered by the next-generation A6 and as far as internal memory goes, Apple has stuck to the same 16, 32 and 64 GB combination.

The smartphone features an 8 megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash that can also record 1080p high definition videos (at 30 frames per second). You can also take snapshots while video-recording while a new feature lets you capture panoramic pictures. The front-facing camera has been bumped up to a 1.2 MP camera that can record HD videos at 720p. Moreover, FaceTime is no longer limited to Wi-Fi, which means you can now make FaceTime calls over cellular networks.

As for connectivity, the device has Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G LTE (a new addition). It measures 123.8mm x 58.6mm x 7.6mm and weighs 112 gm. Additionally, the new battery will provide up to 8 hours of talk time on 3G and 225 hours of standby time. The new smartphone comes in black-and-slate and white-and-silver colours. To know more about the smartphone, read here.

So what is your take – will you purchase the iPhone 5 at the current pricing or are you willing to wait for its official launch in the country? Do share your comments below.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)