Disclaimer: I don’t have anything against Stevie. I am a apple fan and iPod fanatic. 😉
The third generation iPhone has been touted to be less expensive compared to to iPhone 2G. But this is just a marketing gimmick. Probably iPhone 3G will not damage your wallet when you purchase it, but gradually as you use it over the contracted period, a big hole will be burnt in your pocket without actually realising the heat. Lots of debates going on in the web about its pricing, exchanges, upgrades, etc… But its price is not yet officially announced in India. Do you actually think that a high end phone like iPhone 3G would be available for Rs 8000 ($199)? If you, then just have a look at my chart below (derived from AppleInsider). Its a price chart of the UK service provider O2. And there is not much variation in the AT&T iPhone tariffs.
For those who are not familiar with the contract system: Service providers give you the handset for free or for some initial charges and make you sign an agreement wherein you will be locked with their service for the entire period of 12 or 18 months.
This system is not popular in India except for Blackberry – Airtel combos. But with the introduction of iPhone in India, Airtel or Vodaphone will definitely start giving out contracts and the big question is, are the customers going to be charged 51k to 100k for iPhone 3G. Will have to wait for answers!
Also read: The Real cost of iPhone
My advice for the desi guys onsite/uni in UK or US is to opt for the lowest plan and not to go for the free* plans. People in India, get a unlocked version in black market and don’t apply upgrades to it or else it will be bricked 🙂