Sanjay Gupta has been eyeing the iPhone ever since its global launch 14 months back, but the chief marketing officer of Bharti Airtel will have to wait some more before he can switch loyalties from the BlackBerry he currently uses.
"I will get an iPhone only after my customers - both those who have pre-booked, or are walking into stores to order them - have been serviced," he says, sounding just like the marketing man that he is.
Airtel and Vodafone launched the Apple iPhone 3G in India on Friday and are already eyeing gold with Apple - which had made a name for itself with its Macs and iPods - striding silently into an Indian market of 260 million subscribers, a percentage of whom are in iPhone frenzy mode. Apple couldn't have asked for a better start.
Apple iPhone, now in India
For entrepreneurs like Rajiv Agarwal, CEO and director of MobileStore, a leading retailer of mobile devices who began by stocking a thousand iPhones, it's business time.
"We see 5 per cent of our store sales through smartphones," he says, "and estimate to see iPhones take this number a notch ahead."
Barely able to conceal his excitement, Ravinder Takkar, director (strategy and corporate development), Vodafone, says, "Considering we have had thousands of online enquiries and bookings, it looks like a promising start."
Text: Priyanka Joshi
Image: The new Apple iPhone 3G is on display | Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images
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