Phil Schiller announces the new iPhone 5 during an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California. AFP Photo
After a long wait, Apple has launched the new iPhone 5, a lighter, thinner and more powerful version of its iconic mobile device.
While pre-orders for the iPhone 5 will begin on September 14, it will hit the shelves in US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore on September 21, followed by 22 more countries on September 28.
Apple has made no official comment about the phone's release in India. According to sales executives at iWorld, Delhi's Apple Premium Store, "Apple hasn't made any confirmation about the launch date in India."
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As speculations about Indian release mount, tech site BGR reports that the iPhone 5 will be released in Indian around Diwali, "Apple is planning to launch the iPhone 5 in India close to Diwali, which falls on November 13. None of our sources could confirm the actual India launch date at this time. Considering Apple releases its products in the market on a Friday, we would reckon the best chance would be to launch it on November 9 that happens to be the Friday before Diwali."
This isn't the first time Apple has delayed the Indian launch of its latest product. Apple iPhone 4S was launched by telecom operators Airtel and Aircel in the country on November 25, 2011, almost a month after its US launch.
In fact the new CEO of Apple Tim Cook, told his Indian investors at a conference in July this year that "I love India, but I believe Apple has some higher potential in the intermediate term in some other countries. This doesn't mean we're not putting emphasis in India. We have a business there and it's growing but my own perspective is that in the intermediate term there will be larger opportunities outside (the country)".
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This lack of clarity about launch dates has lead to a growing demand of Apple products in the grey markets. According to many sales representatives, Apple fans don't mind shelling out a higher price to get their hands on the latest devices.
The iPhone 4S's predecessors - the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 - are still available in the Indian market, priced at Rs. 20,900 (8GB) and Rs. 37,900 (8GB) respectively.