It is a touch screen phone that has taken the world by storm.
On 12 May, Bharti Airtel announced a tie-up with US-based Apple Inc. to bring the popular GSM-based iPhone in the country. “Bharti Airtel has signed a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to India later this year,” the company said in a statement.
Earlier, the world’s largest mobile phone operator Vodafone announced to distribute iPhones worldwide including India.
The move is likely to benefit the consumers who can now avail the products from legal channels and avoid opting for the grey market.
Its competitors -- Blackberry maker Research in Motion, Windows Mobile Phone market leader HTC -- are pointing out that the iPhone doesn’t support corporate email networks.
According to Ajay Sharma, country head, HTC Corp, “We have own niche segment to cater. Our strength lies in product portfolio and that won’t get disturbed by the entry of these brands into the market”. HTC grew at 150% in the first quarter of 2008 over the same time last year.
According to a recent survey conducted by Rubicon Consulting, nearly 40% of iPhone buyers in America switched from smart phones like the Blackberry.
The report further says Microsoft needs to decide to either compete in devices like Apple, or in operating systems like Google but that would mean giving away Windows Mobile for free and that both options are outside its core competence.
It says the company’s recent purchase of a mobile devices company suggests it may go the device route.
Nokia’s challenges are more about its process. It doesn’t have Apple’s hand-crafted hardware-software integration and will be hard-pressed to match the iPhone’s user experience.