May 25, 2011 / 4:14 PM / 9 years ago

Apple iPhone 4 launches in India on May 27

An iPhone is seen at the Apple store in New York May 23, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Apple’s iPhone 4 hits store shelves in India on Friday, nearly a year after the next-generation version of the popular smartphone was rolled out worldwide.

Mobile phone carrier Aircel will launch the iPhone 4 on May 27 with a new pricing model, allowing customers to recover the upfront cost of the smartphone on select plans over 24 months, the company said in a press release.

Aircel will charge 34,500 rupees for iPhones with a 16 GB capacity and 40,900 rupees for the 32 GB model, it said.

Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s top mobile phone carrier, was also expected to launch the phone on Friday, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

The iPhone 4 boasts a higher-quality screen and longer battery life than the previous model.

Bharti and Vodafone Essar already sell earlier models of the iPhone in India.

With more than 800 million mobile subscribers, India is the world’s second-biggest market for mobile phone services and is also the fastest-growing. But smartphones are estimated to account for just over 5 percent of the mobile handset sales.

Indian carriers have recently started rolling out high-speed third-generation (3G) mobile networks, which is expected to boost sales of smartphones.

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