Apple on Friday formally launched iPhone 5s and 5c in India with price starting from Rs 41,900, but RCom is selling the smartphones in a two-year contract for up to Rs 2,999 per month, heralding a new trend of bundling high-end devices with mobile connection in the industry.
Reliance Communications is offering 16-GB models of iPhone 5s and 5c at Rs 2,999 and Rs 2,599 per month, respectively, for two years with zero down payment. The price include handset cost, unlimited local and STD calls, SMSes, national roaming and 3G data.
Bharti Airtel is also selling iPhone 5s and 5c but it is not offering any bundled offer. Customers can, however, avail a discount of up to 50 per cent on monthly rentals, the operator said. Apple is selling 16 GB iPhone 5c at Rs 41,900 and 32 GB variant at Rs 53,500. iPhone 5s is available at Rs 53,500 (16GB), Rs 63,500 (32 GB) and Rs 71,500 (64 GB).
The devices can be bought from about 4,000 outlets across the country, Ingram Micro, one of Apple's distributors in India, said. RCom is offering only the 16 GB models at zero down payment. A customer would have to pay a down payment of Rs 11,600 for 32 GB iPhone 5c, and Rs 10,992 and Rs 19,992 down payment for 32 GB and 64GB iPhone 5s models respectively.
The trend of offering devices with a bundled offer is prevalent in Western and US markets. On the contract offer, RCom President and CEO (Wireless) Gurdeep Singh said, "There are no hidden charges or clauses, no processing fees or fine-print. The offer is completely above-board and transparent. Unlimited voice, limitless data, local and STD calls, national roaming and SMS."
RCom said customers will not receive any usage bill for 24 months, as the monthly payments include all usage charges. Though the international calls and roaming charges will have to be paid for.
The company has also tied-up with select credit card providers for its latest offering. Singh said with the Apple iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, the company is confident of achieving 40 per cent share of the incremental smartphone market in its 13 3G circles. The company said the offer is part of its efforts to bring more smartphone users to 3G network, which will increase post-paid customers to its customer base and further cement its position as a data services provider.