Even as the release date of the next iPhone a.k.a. iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 is being speculated towards the end of this year, Apple keeps on dumping old products into the Indian market. A recent example being the iPhone 3GS 8 GB being relaunched for a budget price of Rs 19,990. We decided to ask our readers what they think about this new offer from the Cupertino-based company. Our readers have responded in huge numbers.
Out of a total 4041 respondents, 1921 (49%) said they would prefer an Android phone. This is not surprising at all, considering the fact that Android is currently the fastest growing mobile operating system. While the iPhone enjoyed peak popularity for quite some time, Android phones have taken over since the past year or so and their grip over the market is growing really fast. The reasons are very simple, the major ones being: 1) the OS is open source, hence there are no restrictions unlike iOS, thus allowing unlimited customisations, 2) there are several different mobile phone models to choose from, depending on your budget, 3) the devices do not have restrictions such as lack of Bluetooth transfer or USB mass storage device capability, and 4) you don’t need to install a software to be able to manage your smartphone. We must not forget that many Android phones have newer (and faster) hardware when compared to the iPhone (including the iPhone 4).
15% of our readers said they would buy the iPhone 3GS 8 GB for Rs 19,990. There are still quite a few people who would not mind spending around 20k of their hard-earned money on the iPhone 3GS 8 GB, even though it is quite dated. The reason is quite possibly the undeniable flaunt value commanded by the iPhone. Also, the iPhone has access to Apple’s App Store with an increasing number of quality free as well as paid apps to increase the phone’s usability. Even though the hardware is quite old, the iPhone 3GS still runs like a well-oiled machine due to the incredible amount of optimisations present in the iOS. As a mobile OS, the iOS is still a better finished product than Android.
11% are ready to import the iPhone 5, while 9% would rather buy the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 is definitely one of the best smartphones available at this point of time. This number would definitely have been higher, but the problem lies in the obscenely expensive pricing scheme when it comes to India. The iPhone 4 is available at affordable rates in the US, when it is bought along with a mobile service provider contract. Sadly, that is not the case in India. Mobile service operators charge the same 40k (for 32 GB) as it would cost to buy it without a contract. The number of people who are ready to buy the iPhone 4 is therefore not too large. Same goes for the number of people who stated that they would import the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 is definitely going to be even better than the iPhone 4, and it is therefore not a wonder that 11% of our readers are ready to wait for it.
10% prefer to buy other phones, meaning phones having neither of the above operating systems. This number should actually be higher because of the extensive proliferation of Indo-Chinese phones in India, but it seems our readers probably don’t use such phones.
Only 6% said they would prefer Symbian phones. This reflects the dismal state of affairs with the once popular mobile OS. We will soon find out if Symbian Anna has the capability of turning things around for the ageing OS.