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India gives iPhone launch a muted reception

The Indian iPhone launch got a poor reception - a bit like the 3G chip in the handset, then?

When Apple launched its 3G iPhone in India yesterday, there were reports of a Maharaja or two waiting in line at midnight, but otherwise generally little interest among the population of 1.1 billion.

Even though advertising for the new handset appeared to be just as pervasive as in the West, two factors look like keeping demand for the iPhone low in the world's second most populous nation.

3G gone AWOL

Firstly, the price – at 31,000 rupees (£383) for the 8GB model, the new phone is almost twice the baseline price promised by Steve Jobs when he announced the device in June.

Secondly – and this is the really tricky one – there's no 3G network in India yet, so users are limited to slow internet connections on what is being marketed as the ultimate in connected handsets; quite the problem.

Future proof

Still, as one enthusiastic new iPhone owner told Reuters, it pays to plan ahead. Twenty-two-year-old Nishant Arya explained: "We can't change phones on a daily basis. We have to keep the future in mind and 3G will come to India soon."

Ah, so that's why he bought half a dozen of the shiny little baubles then – of course, it couldn't be anything to do with showing off, could it?