Tech Industry

iPhone 4S to hit India November 25

Apple's new smartphone is slated to hit India--considered the world's second largest mobile market--at the end of next week and will be offered by two separate carriers.

iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S will soon hit the world's second largest mobile market.

Offered by two of India's major carriers, Apple's new iPhone will start selling there November 25.

Bharti Airtel has been identified by sources as one of the carriers, according to a recent story in The Times of India, though the company itself provided no news or announcements about the phone on its Web site.

However, An Airtel spokesperson confirmed the launch of the iPhone 4S to CNET, saying that the phone will be available starting midnight on November 25 with preorders to kick off this Friday, November 18.

The other carrier, Aircel, took a more promotional route, confirming on its site that it will start selling the iPhone 4S on November 25 as well as touting the phone on its Facebook page. The phone will be available at Aircel stores, and preordering will start this Friday.

Neither carrier has as yet revealed the price for the new iPhone, according to the Times of India.

Noting that the unlocked version of the 16GB iPhone 4S runs $649 in the U.S., the Times believes that the 16GB model will sell in India for between 35,000 and 40,000 Rupees ($696 and $795). But as with earlier iPhones, both carriers will probably offer a reverse subsidy, which requires customers to pay the full retail price up front but offers them hefty discounts on the voice and data plans over the life of the agreement.

Already booming, the Indian mobile phone market is expected to grow more than 30 percent next year, triggering sales of around $18 billion, according to a June report from CyberMedia Research.

The iPhone 4S debuted on October 14 in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia. In the initial launch weekend, Apple sold a total of 4 million units.

The new iPhone then trekked to an additional 15 countries last Friday where demand has been high. Police had to be summoned to the Apple Store in Hong Kong last Thursday after some of the 3,000 people trying to wait in line ahead of time were turned away.

In the U.S. most retailers continue to run low on stock, with many now offering wait times of around 14 days on average, according to an analyst from Deutsche Bank.

Updated 11/16 4:30 a.m. PT with confirmation on iPhone 4S launch from Bharti Airtel.