Apple Inc is in talks with two Indian telecom companies to try and launch an India-based iPhone using the ‘Code Division Multiple Access’ technology. The talks will help Apple and the Indian firms tap into the burgeoning market for smartphones in India, one of the fastest-growing mobile phone markets in the world.
The two companies in question are Reliance Communications Ltd. and Tata Teleservices Ltd. Both companies currently use CDMA technology, which is not available at present with iPhones, but Apple is making an iPhone for Verizon Wireless which will be based on CDMA technology. While the talks have supposedly been going on for a couple of months, here in no clear timeline for any launch.
iPhones are available in India under Global System for mobile communications, “GSM” technology. The launch of a CDMA phone will grant Apple access to the fastest growing mobile market, which sees the addition of nearly 18 million customers each month. India has about 670 million wireless mobile users, of which around 20 percent are using CDMA phones.
In India the cheapest iPhone costs over $600, a very expensive investment considering that more than 40 percent of the population live on less than $1.25 per day.
While Apple hasn’t confirmed its plans to release an Indian CDMA version of the iPhone, it will face stiff competition as Motorola, Nokia, HTC and Blackberry’s RIM are already big players in the Indian market and with new that Google is also set to take Google Andriod to the sub-continent, they have a hard sell ahead of them.