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Nov 02, 2012 at 06:12pm IST

Apple iPhone 5 launched in India; Aircel, Airtel offer plans

New Delhi: Apple's iPhone 5 - thinner, lighter and with a 4-inch screen - went on sale in India on Friday with a starting price of Rs 45,500. The iPhone 5, which Apple CEO Tim Cook said was the "fastest-selling" phone in history, sports a 4-inch "retina" display and is 20 per cent lighter than the iPhone 4S.

The 16 GB model of the new iPhone will sell for 45,500 rupees, with the 32 GB version priced at 52,500 rupees and the 64 GB model available for 59,500 rupees. The iPhone 5 is being launched in India more than a month after hitting store shelves in the United States. The gadget will be launched in 100 countries by the year's end in the fastest global rollout for an iPhone.

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Despite the phone's premium pricing compared to other high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X, dealers in New Delhi said they were fielding more queries for this iPhone than for previous versions. Two Apple resellers in New Delhi said all their existing stocks had been sold out in advance bookings.

Apple iPhone 5 launched in India; Aircel, Airtel offer plans

The 16 GB version of the Apple iPhone 5 is priced at Rs 45,500 in India.

"Response is very good. Our first stock is already booked, still we are getting bookings," said Vikas Malhotra, store manager at iWorld. Although Apple's products are not as popular in India compared to western countries, the brand is steadily gaining traction among affluent professionals who don't mind paying a premium for the iconic products. In a change from previous years, the iPhone will be available in retail stores and not just through Apple's carrier partners.

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However, those wanting to purchase the iPhone 5 on the launch day should not get their hopes up, reports Tech2 quoting sources within Apple's official retail channels. According to the report only those who pre-ordered the handset would receive it on November 2, while others will have to wait up to nearly two weeks.

The number of handsets that have arrived in the first batch in India is very small. The chances of being able to buy a handset at an official Apple retail store are slim, but not zero.

The Apple iPhone 5 was launched at public events in five different places in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Airtel and Aircel with whom Apple had previously partnered with have announced special tariff plans for iPhone 5 buyers.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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