Aircel and Bharti Airtel have officially announced that they’ll be launching the iPhone 4S in India. In addition, they’ve also announced the prices, which are substantially higher than the last generation iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4S is available in both black and white. Both Aircel and Bharti Airtel have priced the 16GB variant at INR 44,500, and the 32GB variant at INR 50,900. The iPhone 4S has a 64GB variant, but Bharti Airtel doesn’t list it on their site, while Aircel says “Sold Out”, with no mention of a price. Some reports say Bharti Airtel did price the 64GB version at INR 57,500, but pulled it from the site later.
The iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 are still available, and an 8GB iPhone 3GS costs just INR 20,900.
The phones are available for pre-order on the carrier’s respective websites till November 24th. Both the carriers will be launching the phones on November 25th. Both operators are using third party services to handle the pre-orders - while Bharati Airtel seems to be using their own spinoff called Actify.in, Aircel has teamed up with NCarry.com - from the people who made the award winning Nimbuzz Mobile Messenger - to handle the e-commerce. The phones are being distributed by Beetel in India, while both carriers are offering money-back plans through which the customer can recover the cost of the phone in 3 years.
Announced the day before Steve Jobs’s death, the iPhone 4S is powered by a Dual Core Apple A5 processor and iOS5. With its celebrated optics - which are said to be at par with mid-range digital cameras - and integration with the new iCloud service, the iPhone 4S takes smartphones to a new level.
Perhaps the biggest feature of the phone is the new voice-activated personal assistant Siri, which, built using ages of research from DARPA and Apple’s own design labs, provides a compelling new way to use a phone, by talking to it. Siri communicates using natural language, and apart from working, it also jokes. While people in English speaking countries are realizing their dreams of being Iron Man and talking to his personal assistant Jarvis, it remains to be seen how Siri adjusts with the majority of Indians speaking broken English with a complete disregard for proper grammar.