When I groggily opened today’s Times of India, I was pleasantly surprised to see an ad for the iPhone 3G, from Vodafone. Looks like they have pipped Airtel to the post, at least in making public the iPhone plans. Airtel also invited interested parties to know more about iPhone. But their number, strangely, was tucked away deep down in some Economic Times article. And looks like I am not the only one excited. I was equally surprised to find bloggers writing about it. See here, here and here (looks like this guy is totally fida on the iPhone). You can also pre-book the iPhone (even if you are not a Vodafone customer) here.
Economic Times is already up to sensational headlines like ‘India Inc. divided on iPhone vs. Blackberry’. The article is full of unsubstantiated claims: ‘Apple has announced that it will launch its 2G and 3G phones in India next month’. Ain? Why would they launch a 2G version here when they have the 3G one? And in typcial ET style: ‘the disadvantage with an iPhone is that it does not offer MMS facility. Some corporates are eagerly awaiting the July launch of Apple iPhone but some plan to still swear by the age old BlackBerry Pearl’. Oh, some will and some won’t? That was enlightening. And MMS not being a feature will be a deterrent for purchase? I think not. How many of use MMS anyway? If anything, SMS forward, lack of copy+paste are the kind of features that will be missed by most.
Will corporate India, thus far wedded to their Blackberries switch to iPhone? Doubtful. I think the gadget freaks will adopt it first. But the interface which is so Mac-like (an unfamiliar interface for corporate India) may be intimidating. The touch screen and typing takes getting used to. And will the IT gatekeepers, grown up on a diet of Microsoft, XP, Vista and Network Neighbourhoods, ‘allow’ the iPhone to sync with Microsoft Exchange in their corporate networks? Remains to be seen.
By the way, has it occurred to you that we are talking about a phone? Pre-sell and pre-booking is a done thing in cars and other high-end consumer durables. The last I remember such hype for a phone was during the Nokia N95 launch (is this is the future of computer?).
I am now waiting for Vodafone to revert.