Nokia intercepts iPhone with high-end handset

August 20, 2008

Nokia, the country’s dominant handset player, is plotting to steal Apple’s thunder. The company is set to launch its latest high-end phone-the N96-which calls a ‘killer product’ on Tuesday in India, three days before the much-awaited 3G-enabled iPhone’s debut here. The N96 was tipped to be launched globally in October and this may perhaps be the handset maker’s first global launch in India.

Industry experts say Nokia is rushing the N96 to India to counter the hype associated with the 3G iPhone, which will be offered by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar. While Nokia is expected to launch the product in Delhi on Tuesday, the handset is likely to be available in the market from the first week of September.

Nokia’s N96 is expected to be priced around Rs 35,000. In comparison, the iPhone is likely to cost about Rs 31,000 for the 8 GB version and between Rs 35,000-37,000 for the 16 GB one. Till date, Bharti, Vodafone and Apple have remained tight-lipped on iPhone’s pricing strategy in India. But if the iPhone is bundled with a carrier’s service, the price could be half this amount.

Olympic bronze medal for India

August 20, 2008

Wrestler Sushil Kumar wins Olympic bronze medal for India

Grappler Sushil Kumar provided an unexpected boost to India’s Olympic campaign by clinching bronze medal after beating Kazakhstan’s Leonid Spiridonov in the repechage match of the men’s freestyle wrestling 66kg class in Beijing on Wednesday.

Sushil also thwarted the challenge from American Doug Schwab and Belarrussian Albert Batyrov in the first two repechage rounds after losing his opening round bout earlier in the day.

Sushil is only the second Indian wrestler to win the wrestling bronze after Kashabha Jadhav had returned with the medal in 1952 Helsinki Games.

This will be after 56 years that an Indian contingent will return with more than one Olympic medal as shooter Abhinav Bindra has won first-ever Games gold medal for the country earlier at the Beijing Games.

Sushil had lost to far superior Ukrainian Andriy Stadnik in his first round bout.

Source: NDTV

Get an iPhone for Rs 31,000

August 20, 2008

Indian consumers, who have waited for months to own the iconic 3G-enabled Apple iPhone, will have to pay Rs 31,000 for the entry-level 8GB memory mobile phone and Rs 36,100 for a model with double the memory.

Both Vodafone and Airtel will be launching the iPhone on August 22 and industry experts say bookings and pre-launch interest suggest that they would be able to sell over 100,000 phones in the next 12 months.

Companies like Vodafone, which opened bookings for the phones in July, have already received booking requests of over 10,000 phones.

The domestic price, however, is much steeper than the US price. The handset is available for $199 (Rs 8,358) in the US, plus $99 (Rs 4,158) as an annual contract with the telecom company since the handsets are linked to the service provider

These lower prices are possible because of the large subsidies that service providers are willing to provide to woo customers.

In India however, neither company will offer a subsidy.

However, the non-3G Apple iPhone — which was launched by the company earlier — is available in the Indian grey market at around Rs 20,000, down from Rs 24,000 a few months ago.

Grey market operators are now also cracking the codes for the 3G Apple iPhone and said it would be priced Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 cheaper than the Vodafone or Airtel price points. Second-hand 2G iPhones are available for about Rs 15,000

The 3G iPhone will have faster downloads, an in-built GPS system and direct connections to YouTube, among other features.

Meanwhile, leading handset makers like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung have stepped up their R&D efforts to introduce feature-rich phones in India to compete with iPhones.