5 Reasons Why I Haven’t Bought an iPhone Yet.

About 3 months ago, I made a firm decision that I’m definitely buying an iPhone. Been wanting one ever since its launch an year ago and the latest iPhone 3G at $199 made it mouth wateringly reachable. Apple had a 100% assured buyer in me. So, why did Apple lose me? Here’s why.

Reason #1: Promises not kept. I distinctly remember Steve Jobs, during his keynote speech during iPhone 3G’s launch, mention that it would $199 and equivalent across all markets. When it comes from Steve Jobs, you believe him. It just rubbed me the wrong way that that promise wasn’t kept. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

Reason #2: Feeling of getting ripped off. How does it feel paying way beyond the MRP of a product? Feels shit ofcouse. What else explains, paying $750 for a $499 phone?

Reason #3: The Price will eventually drop. It’s a classic Apple strategy. Launch it at a higher cost. Milk the fellas who have the money and can’t wait. Catch the gadget freaks. Satisfy their ‘I-got-it-first’ egos. Once this layer is covered, cut the price down and target the next layer. Look at the historical data of iPods and the iPhone in the US and its easy to map it in India.

Reason #4: I’d like to retain my old number. I’m on Aircel and I’ve had my phone number 98415 97744 for over 5 years now. No way am I going to let go of this number. Has too much professional and personal connections at stake. If I get an iPhone, then it means I’ll have to carry two phones with me. The iPhone will at best be a portable interent device and music player.

Reason #5: I’m quite happy with my Nokia N82. It’s WiFi is good. Great camera. Nice phone overall. It’s a little difficult to justify to myself why I should cough up an extra Rs.31,000 when I’m quite happy with what I have right now.

If you notice, none of my 5 reasons has anything to do with the iPhone gadget. I love the phone and its features. And that’s exactly why its such a shame that Apple lost me. It’s such a shame that they couldn’t convert such great brand goodwill and months of pentup anticipation into solid sales.

I read today’s report that there were over 90,00,000 (90 lakh) new phone connections last month alone and its such a shame that only a few thousand iPhones have been sold so far.

For guys like Vodafone and Airtel, it really won’t make much of a difference to their bottomline. They’ll still get tons of subscribers anyways. However, its an opportunity lost to establish their coolness. It’s Apple’s loss entire.

India is a land of EMIs. India is a land of volume. Apple clearly hasn’t learnt that yet.



  1. .::[ Mani Karthik ]::. Says: May 22, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Kiruba,

    The iphone is a beauty – agreed. And if you love it, I can give you more than one reason that will make you go –“Damn, but I thought it’s a phone for me”

    I’m no apple hater, but iphone 3G’s launch in India is a case study on “How brands can fail trying to ape a business model ignoring the environment”.

    Forget all the reasons listed here (some of which are flame bait stuff) http://www.manikarthik.com/12-reasons-why-the-iphone-could-be-a-disappointment-in-india/
    but answer me this.

    Why would you use a 3G phone is a country where 3G is not functional yet ?
    Ok, can’t go without saying this.
    – With no video and, an average 2 MP camera, is it even a phone?

    The price should fall, 3G should function and we all should hop into the bandwagon of heavy YouTube and other “App” usage to really start using this beauty.

    I think it’s a “make user use more data – rip them off” strategy from Vodafone and AirTel, I don’t see another good point why they should tie up with Apple.

  2. Karthick Prabu Says: May 22, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Yes, apple’s iphone strategy could easily be compared with its earlier gadgets. High cost at the start, then the cost reduces in such a way that everyone can buy it.

    But, there are takers for apples strategy.. read this: http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/
    26/iphone-3gs-now-outnumber-first-
    generation-iphones/

    In the Reason 2, did you mention $499 by mistake? (instead of $199)

  3. quizlab Says: May 22, 2009 at 4:30 am

    hey kribs, maybe you should go for an N96. 16gb expandble by 8gb more, 5MP camera, antivirus, comes preloaded with songs and films, cool phone.
    cheers
    anish

  4. Karthick Prabu Says: May 22, 2009 at 4:51 am

    @Mani Karthik

    Ya I concur on the 3G stuff. In one of the article in Business Today I read that theres a technology called 3.5G and thats faster than 3G. But, ultimately they concluded confusingly saying 3.5G is commonly referred as 3G! Nxt hype.. “iphone 3.5G ” ;-))

  5. ::[ Mani Karthik ]::. Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Kiruba,

    The iphone is a beauty – agreed. And if you love it, I can give you more than one reason that will make you go –“Damn, but I thought it’s a phone for me”

    I’m no apple hater, but iphone 3G’s launch in India is a case study on “How brands can fail trying to ape a business model ignoring the environment”.

    Forget all the reasons listed here (some of which are flame bait stuff) http://www.manikarthik.com/12-reasons-why-the-iphone-could-be-a-disappointment-in-india/
    but answer me this.

    Why would you use a 3G phone is a country where 3G is not functional yet ?
    Ok, can’t go without saying this.
    – With no video and, an average 2 MP camera, is it even a phone?

    The price should fall, 3G should function and we all should hop into the bandwagon of heavy YouTube and other “App” usage to really start using this beauty.

    I think it’s a “make user use more data – rip them off” strategy from Vodafone and AirTel, I don’t see another good point why they should tie up with Apple.

  6. K.Kaviraj Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Hi Kriuba ,

    Out of the points u hav mentioned I strongly agree with point no:3 🙂 . Last week I took a demo of IPhone in Acendas was cool ….but didnt buy …because for sure I know they will cut down the rate to atleast Rs 12,000 in 2 months and refund Rs 20,000 to folks who just bought a month before and make it again a BIG news 🙂 Its classic Apple marketing strategy ! ….. obviously people will also get the feel … ” wow man ! Iphone for just 12 K .. seems I too can own one ” . For sure Apple knows it wont sell for Rs 32 K …but they are looking for the sale after 4 months 🙂 Clever guys – Apple ! …. Apple Iphone’s rate in India will for sure come down to Rs 8500 /- as thts the original rate Apple has fixed for the phone in India … all happening now r now marketting strategies I guess 🙂

  7. Krishnan Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Good post. I agree with all points expect #3. It is a widely followed marketing strategy and nothing peculiar to Apple. A simple example. Why do you think hard-cover books are costlier than paperbacks and paperbacks are never launched during an initial book launch? There will always be leaders, followers and laggards in markets and merketing should be different for each of these segments. Even 3rd degree price discrimination is used sometimes. (Amazon tried it once, didn’t it?).

  8. Sylvian Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:27 am

    I can give you only one reason why you should buy it, It’s the Apple I-Phone..Nothing else

    There are lot of comments from not-so apple enthusiasts… Son one comment from a Apple Freak.

    I can’t resist that pretty thing…

  9. Mani Karthik Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:28 am

    @sylvian – Pls do let us know when you buy it.

  10. Got a new HTC last week and feel happy that the investment was wise. Better than iPhone for the features it has

  11. Sylvian Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:28 am

    @Mani Karthik

    I have booked it and i am taking delivery on September 1st – Monday. A simple way of two part payments to mitigate the huge one time payment.

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  13. Pradeep Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Nicely written Kiruba. Buy an iPod touch instead!;-)

  14. Vishwas Krishna Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Apart from the reasons which you have specified, I have two more.
    1. Absence of A2DP
    2. Absence of a good camera with flash.

  15. Poongothai Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:30 am

    i think you may be mistaken abt the pricing –

    in the US:
    Cost of phone – $199
    Minimum monthly fees – $70
    Cost over 2 years – 199 + ( 24 X 70 )= $ 1880

    in India :
    Cost of phone – $738
    Minimum monthly fees – $20 ( or even lesser for some people?? )
    Cost over 2 years = $1218

    Hope it makes sense

  16. Maharajapuram Ramchandran Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Good cribbing Kribs..!

    But somehow, I feel that Poongothai nailed it on the head!! The cost of ownership is a main factor. Also, don’t forget that there is a 2 year contract here in the US and you can’t break away (without paying an additional 200 bucks or something) as easily as might be able to in India…!

    Having said that, if the carriers subsidize the cost of the iPhone and sell it sub $200, it would create a HUGE grey market elsewhere where the phones are still a premium.

    So, Apple might use a wait and watch strategy and the phone will be pitched as a high end product until the contractual agreements continue here in the US.

    Until then, I’m waiting for the Android!! 😀

  17. Raghava Kotekar Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Hi Kribs,

    i found few broken links on your site. One example is from “http://www.kiruba.com/techwriting/resources.html”
    you can find a link “About me” on right side of the panel is a bad link. And similarly “Interviews” links is also bad link.

    Cheers,
    Raghava Kotekar

  18. Get a Black berry Will you

  19. well said Kiruba , I dont know why you still stick with Aircel 🙂 ,

    TRAI must act fast in order to give provision to change your service provider by retaining the same number .. in that case contacts can be still maintained …

    Every one need of this , why dont they act ?

  20. Dilip Muralidaran Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:33 am

    @Maharajapuram Ramchandran: for the first time in india, a cellular operator is introducing contracts with the iPhone. Its 2 years.

  21. Mukunth Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Kribs,
    Most of the ‘high-end’ phones have features that you can never use (3G / GPS et al) as there is no provision / operator capability here in India. So cost should not be a limiting factor here. Remember, other vendors have also launched (N95, Blackberry) / will be launching phones around same prices (N96/Omnia/HTC one’s et al). The real reason why you didn’t buy was that you thought $199 = Rs.8000 and when they launched it @ around Rs.30K, you were taken aback. Most people have missed out that the $199 is a highly subsidised on-contract cost in the US and you actually end up paying more over a 2-year period.

  22. Dilip Muralidaran Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:33 am

    @Mukunth: IPhones are LOCKED by Airtel and Vodafone and are under a 2 year contract too! Now why do i feel that apple fan-boys are selectively ignoring the comments i put here with factual information. hmm…..

  23. I also agree when this cell is available in other countries at $199, how come in India it is 3 times higher. I too have dropped the idea and comfortable with my spice D88 dual sim.

  24. Mohammed Moyeen.A Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:34 am
  25. Mukunth Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:35 am

    @Dilip,
    2-yr. contract as well ? Man, that really SUCKS. Then an iPhone today in India is a no-brainer…it’s bledy EXPENSIVE

  26. Dilip Muralidaran Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:35 am

    @mukunth: that’s steve job’s no brainer for india. 🙂

  27. alex.bén Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Hey, Kribs! On second thoughts how are you “quite” happy with those teeny-weeny buttons on an N82 keypad?

    Eeeks.. they are really clumsy!

    Well however I’m still living with a Nok3330. I just wanna talk to people. 😐

  28. mmm…Am I missing a beat here in this post?

    $199 for Iphone is for a 2 year contract with AT&T.

    How is that working in India? Do you need to be contracted to Airtel or Vodaphone?

    how this works is since there is a minimum charge for the phone, some part of the contact amount is routed back to Apple by At&T towards the phone thus making the low price possible.

    Since that being the case, you technically are not an owner of the phone for 2 years.

  29. Douglas Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Even I was waiting in anticipation of the launch and had ‘decided’ to buy the phone. For the exact same reasons as you, plus a few more, I didn’t.

    At the end of the day, user experience is only one part of the phone experience. Functionality counts for a lot. No navigation for India, lousy camera, no video, etc etc…and everything else you may want you have to buy at the app store. Plus, you are forced to use iTunes for everything. And moving contacts across from your current phone to the iPhone is a bitch…

    So I ended up buying the E71 and I am hysterically pleased with it. Except for multitouch and a smaller screen, it does everything the iPhone does, and more, and better, for less. As I read in a review somewhere: “Nokia has taken the same dimensions and volume of the iPhone and used it in a completely different way. While the iPhone excels at media consumption, the E71 excels at media creation.”

    12:12 AM
    Blogger Dis-interested said…

    I was going to buy iphone but when I call airtel support they say that i am not a phone

  30. Krishnamoorthy Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:36 am

    “Poongothai”is comment sums it all. Everyone happily forgot the 2-yr contract in US and other countries.

    I tried prebooking N96 and the Nokia store guys told me that it would cost around 35-37K. N95 is sold it 25K( it was 30K 2months back )

    Though it has different set of features, these can be considered as competitor to iPhone. How can we expect apple to sell iPhone < 20K when N series phones costs much higher?

    btw, even I was ‘hoping’ apple would do some ‘magic’ and would price the iPhone close to 20K. But then, we need to u’stand the reality!

  31. niveditha Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:37 am

    You’re absolutely right. I think they would’ve completely swept the market if the price was around a 10grand lower. 31K is way too expensive. And by the time the price goes down there will be new technology in the market which’ll also be expensive. So unless you’re really rich you don’t get to buy the best.

    P.S: I write here
    http://nivedithasperceptions.wordpress.com/
    Found your blog from mysorean…

  32. The Rebel Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Me too was excited initially…thought it would cost around 10k..considering its U.S Price of $199 for the 8GB one..Its double standards cost wise for sure…Nokia N96 would be Better i feel…
    India doesnt have 3G…So why iphone 3G???

  33. hi,
    my latest blog post mentions your name.. just check out and give your feedback…!!hi,
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  34. Kribs!
    I dint see your comments but recently i got IPHONE ..
    its really cool! i like it.

  35. Dr.Thiagarajamurthy Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:39 am

    see 50 reasons why not to buy iphone, in times uk website.

  36. I did a comic about it…
    Death and iPhone – On Fly, You Fools!

  37. Perhaps apple is not exactly targeting middle-class indian public yet?

    If you see historically, ALL of Apple’s products – right from the first Macintosh Computer to the iMacs / Macbooks of today, iPods and iPhones, its never about volume.
    Its ALWAYS about class…the I-have-an-iMac thing; the upper cut; the elite.

    What separates the have’s from the can’t-afford’s.

    The classic Apple way!

  38. Morpheus Says: May 23, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Dont really agree!! The iphone is priced at the price people are willing to pay for it, being a ‘new’ product it will be expensive when it first comes in..like ALL other products really.
    Steve Jobs can not really be blamed for the problems networks have in transporting numbers.

    Adding to earlier comment…in UK cost…
    I paid £99 for an 8GB one, but O2 tied me in for 18 months @£35 a month..to get usage of the phone…I dont know who is worse off…

  39. valid reasons 🙂

  40. Hi Kiruba, benny here…

    The other day, I saw you in Global Lingo. As you were busy with some discussion with Senthil, I could not talk to you..

    BTW, I found your points very interesting.. Will you please allow me to translate it and publish it with due credits on my blog on Webdunia?

    With regards,
    benny

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