The iPhone 5 is finally here, well, almost! A number of e-commerce sites have started taking pre-orders for the device and will start shipping the smartphone from Friday (Nov 2) this week. In addition, telco major Airtel has also started pre-booking the device. But first things first "the smartphone is priced at Rs 45,500, Rs 52,500 and Rs 59,500 for the 16, 32 and 64 GB model, respectively.
This price is uniform across sites with the exception of Tradus.com where we have found a discounted price of Rs 44,990 for the 16 GB model. But that's not all. To make things even more interesting, the recently launched iPad Mini is also available for pre-order on a couple of sites â€“ eBay.in and FirangiBhai.com.
We had earlier predicted that the price could be in the range of Rs 45,000-Rs 55,000 when the iPhone 5 is officially launched here in India and it turns out that we were right. Even before the official launch, the device has been available in the grey market and a number of online stores but at an exorbitant pricing â€“ ranging from Rs 58,000 (for the 16 GB model) to close to Rs 1 lakh for the 64 GB version.
As of now, iPhone 5 is available at a number of sites/stores listed below:
Saholic.com: It is offering all three models in both white and black. Delivery in 8-10 days, depending on the colour you choose (for some reason, white takes a day longer).
Tradus.com: The site is offering the 16 GB model â€“ in white and black â€“ at a price of Rs 44,990 (the cheapest we could find) while delivery will take 7-9 days. The 32 GB version is sold out and the 64 GB model is altogether absent.
Infibeam.com: Offering all three models but only in black. However, delivery will take just two days, post-launch. Earlier, the device was up for pre-order for Rs 5,000.
Airtel: The telco is currently selling the 16 GB model and the delivery time spans 7-9 days.
Redington: One of Apple's distribution partners in the country, Redington will offer all three models (in both colours) from Nov 2, 2012, across the country.
Apple's iPhone 5 sports a 4 inch multi-touch retina display (1136Ã—640 pixel resolution) with 326 pixels per inch. It is powered by the next-generation A6 processor 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 and a new feature lets you capture panoramic pictures. The front-facing camera has been scaled 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.
Note that Apple has recently added India to the list of countries whose currency is supported on the company's app stores. It means buyers from India can now purchase apps in INR. 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. This means that the costliest model in the US is still cheaper than the cheapest one in India.
As of now, on eBay, you will find the 16 GB Wi-Fi only version of the tablet for Rs 28,990 (in both white and black colours). Sourced from the US, the tablets will be shipped from November 12, 2012. Another seller on the same site is offering the same tablet (only 4 pieces) for Rs 25,990. This one will start shipping the device from November 9 but will charge an additional Rs 115 as courier charge.
On the other hand, FirangiBhai.com is offering all three (16, 32 and 64 GB) Wi-Fi only models on its site. These are priced at Rs 26,900, Rs 34,290 and Rs 41,790 for the 16, 32 and 64 GB models, respectively. The tablets are available for pre-order and the site claims that it will start delivering a week after Apple starts its delivery in the US.
But that's not all. Apple has also slashed (see the table below) the prices of the new iPad with retina display (iPad 3) upwards of Rs 1,000 in lieu of the official launch of the iPad Mini in the country. The company had earlier done the same for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 before the iPhone 5 launch.
Similar to the iPhone, iPad Mini is also cheaper in the US where it is available for $329 (Rs 17,756), $429 (Rs 23,200) and $529 (Rs 28,550) for the 16, 32 and 64 GB Wi-Fi only versions, respectively. So if a friend happens to be visiting the US, don't forget to remind him/her to get you one.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)