| | iPhone 4 to be launched in India on May 27
Telecom operators Bharti airtel and Aircel today said they will start selling Apple's iPhone 4 in India from May 27.
"With a robust roll out of Aircel's 3G services in 13 circles across India, the launch of iPhone 4 will allow our consumers to truly savour the 3G experience," Aircel Director Sandip Das said in a statement.
"With our incredible new price plans, we aim to make iPhone more affordable than ever," Das said
Growing smartphones sales are expected to get a further fillip with the roll out of 3G services in the country. 3G services, which offer high-speed internet access, have already been rolled out by both Aircel and Bharti airtel.
About 12 million smartphones are expected to be sold in India during 2011, according to a CyberMedia Research study.
Aircel said it will offer customers a range of flexible service plans for both post-paid and pre-paid mobile customers.
Following an upfront payment of Rs 34,500 for the 16GB model and Rs 40,900 for the 32GB model, customers will have the opportunity to recover 100 per cent of their upfront iPhone cost in monthly credits on Aircel's service plan over a period of 24 months, it said.
A Bharti airtel spokesperson said the company would launch the iPhone 4 on the same day.
Bharti airtel is India's largest mobile phone operator (by subscriber-base) with more than 162 million subscribers, while Aircel has nearly 55 million users.
India is the world's second-largest market, after China, for telecom services with 811.59 million subscribers at the end of March, 2011.
US-based Apple Inc, the inventors of iPod, iPhones and iPads, launched the iPhone 4 in the US last year, with a starting price of $ 199
The handset is equipped with a sharper screen and video-chat features and attempts to ward-off competition from devices running Google's Android software.
iPhone, the touch screen handset that acquired a cult status in the US and other western countries, was launched for the first time in India in 2008.
Following the launch, the new upgrades have also been introduced in the Indian market. The iPhone 4 will have a 3.5 inch display with 640 X 960 pixel resolution, two cameras and a 5-megapixel camera with built-in LED flash.