There is unlimited music and surfing in the offing for Indian consumers.
California-based Apple is set to launch its touch screen iPod and upgraded version of its original iPod in India next week.
The brand iPod Touch — iPhone minus the phone with a browser to surf — has been creating waves in the US ever since its launch last week. The upgraded brand iPod Classic can store as many as 40,000 songs.
"The new products are going to be available in Apple's stores and through its authorised dealers from next week," said a source close to Apple. An Apple Asia spokesperson said that the price and availability of the products would be disclosed at the time of the launch.
The pricing of the products in the Indian market is crucial since higher import duties are reportedly slowing sales of Apple's existing line of iPods. If Apple follows the global pricing model, the iPod Classic will be available in the range of Rs 13,337 to Rs 18,745.
Similarly, the cost of iPod Touch, which will include 31 per cent import duty, will be in the range of Rs 16,059 to Rs 21, 430. The iPod Touch has Wi-Fi, a technology that allows wireless Internet surfing, and can be used to share music too.
Its software called "cover flow" will help you virtually flip through all the music.
Apple had earlier brought to India the iPod shuffle, which was priced at Rs 8,500 for a 512 MB capacity model and Rs 12,400 for a 1GB model, in February 2005. This was available in the grey market an year before its launch in India.
Indian consumers are getting the cheaper version of the products in the grey market, which does not have to pay import duties. While there are no official estimates on the number of iPods sold in India, according to an analyst from a leading research company, the company would have sold about 7,000 through official channels.
Around 55,000 units may have been sold through the grey market. As a result, some distributors have stopped selling iPods. "One of the reasons customers buy from the grey market is due to the high duty structure, which is an additional 31 per cent over the official price," said a Mumbai-based distributor.