Apple iPhone 5 makes India debut

NEW DELHI Fri Nov 2, 2012 5:26pm IST

A customer holds up an Apple iPhone 5 to pose for a photo during an exclusive sale by Belgian operator Mobistar in Brussels September 28, 2012. REUTERS/Yves Herman

A customer holds up an Apple iPhone 5 to pose for a photo during an exclusive sale by Belgian operator Mobistar in Brussels September 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Apple's latest iPhone -- thinner, lighter and with a 4-inch screen -- went on sale in India on Friday with a starting price of 45,500 rupees.

The iPhone 5, which Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook said was the "fastest-selling" phone in history, sports a 4-inch "retina" display and is 20 percent 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.

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.

"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.

(Editing by Tony Tharakan)

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