AT&T has started selling the iPhone 4 to walk-on customers today and lines have formed again. No idea yet on what kind of volumes the stores are doing but it doesn’t look light in Queens, N.Y.
Update 9:45am: Many AT&T stores have sold their inventory within an hour of opening and are taking in-store fulfillment orders or handing out tickets based on their estimated next shipment. Good luck if you’re trying AT&T.
Here are some scenes from the iPhone 4 launch at Apple’s Flagship store in New York CIty on Fifth Avenue. There were thousands of people online, many spending between 15 and 60 hours online. Luckily, it was a very hot and humid week so people were just sweating and stinky, but not freezing
I picked up my factory unlocked iPhone 3G[S] on a trip to Malaysia in September. To my pleasant surprise, Internet tethering, and MMS were already active and working quite well in Malaysia.
Upon arriving in India and popping my Airtel SIM into the phone, the phone worked fine but no data was working. Since the 3G[S] isn’t officially supported on Airtel or any Indian carrier, I could not set the EDGE network settings. Apple removed the ability to change network settings in a previous firmware upgrade. If you jailbreak your phone, I believe there is a way to re-enable the EDGE settings easily. However, if you’re not jailbreaking your iPhone, it’s a little more complicated. I tried to download and install a profile for Airtel that’s usually used for enabling tethering and MMS but that didn’t work.
I then deleted the profile from the phone and rebooted it. Upon reboot, it was working perfectly. I also had to make sure that 3G was turned off. I can’t be sure what finally made it work but I have a feeling it was turning 3G off in the Network settings. Try that first and if you still have trouble, then try using the profile.
I am writing (most of) this post on my iPhone 3G[S] using Airtel in New Delhi. The 3G[S] is not available in India yet and there is no information publicly available about a pending release or pricing.
I suspect, that Apple is terribly disappointed with iPhone 3G sales through its Indian partners, Airtel and Vodafone. On the flipside, Apple provides no support for the iPhones they sell in India. The only support available is through the carriers, who, from experience and from what others have said, can’t even properly activate an iPhone. Apple really can’t blame them.
In India, why has Apple abandoned their philosophy of controlling every aspect of their customers’ experience with their products? The 3G sells through official channels for anywhere between Rs. 30k and Rs. 35k. It’s not cheap by any standard. Blackberry, on the other hand is selling all their models in India like hotcakes. A few people I have met who bought iPhones through official channels in India have exhibited an incredible amount of frustration at the device and the (lack of) support behind it. One person said it took Vodafone almost a month to get data working on his iPhone and they had no answer for his dropped calls. Not exactly another notch in Apple’s customer service utility belt.
Those in India who bought the phone through unofficial or grey market channels have paid a premium for the device. They face extreme frustration when dealing with the carriers and they knew they would get no support from Apple (unless they were lied to by the vendor and told that they would get support from Apple – yes, vendors in India do lie). For the moment, Apple has lost the Indian high-end mobile phone market to Blackberry and Nokia. Until the carriers offer better service, true unlimited data plans, and better speeds, only gadget freaks like me and those trying to be seen with the sexiest phone on the market will be paying the massive premiums for an iPhone in India. Currently, an unlocked (not sure if it’s factory or hacktivated) iPhone 3G[S] sells for anything between Rs. 45,000 (USD 980) and Rs. 55,000 (USD 1,200) in places like Khan Market in New Delhi.
My bet is that India will see an iPhone 3G[S] sometime in the late Spring at which point, Apple will be getting ready to roll out the next version of the iPhone just a few months later in the US and other countries. Come on Apple, haven’t you figured out that Indians will gladly pay a premium for great hardware. It’s the software they will never pay for.
This is my first post using the new WordPress App from the iTunes App Store. Pretty good so far and really easy to use.
So far the Indian government looks like it will stay in power. What does that mean for the Indo-US nuclear pact? It looks good. What does it mean for the Indian economy? More of the same once the initial euphoria of the government not falling wears off.