On July 23, 2010, Apple rolled out all models of the iPad to 9 more countries – Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore, in addition to the 10 countries in which it is available currently (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US) to make for a total of 19 countries where the iPad is officially sold. As usual, India has been left out of the league.
At the time of writing this post, the official page for the iPad on the Apple (India) website has no links for purchase or prices, just a simple ‘Notify Me’ button, which is to get updates related to the iPad by email.
Apple has always treated India as a third world country, with no retail stores and no reachability. Even with the iPhone, Apple launched it in India almost an year after it was announced in the US and at ridiculous prices (greater than 30k INR for the cheapest model). The trend for the iPad looks similar, and there is no news on when Apple is going to launch it in India.
Even though there is no direct way to purchase an iPad in India, for enthusiasts who do no want to wait to get their hands on an iPad, there are a lot of sources (albiet unofficial or maybe even illegal) from where you can purchase an iPad.
The iPad is readily available on eBay India, of course, at a premium. At the time of writing this, the lowest prices found on eBay are as follows –
- 16 GB Wi-Fi Only – INR 36,999
- 32 GB Wi-Fi Only – INR 40,150
- 64 GB Wi-Fi Only – INR 45,600
- 16 GB Wi-Fi + 3G – INR 44,990
- 32 GB Wi-Fi + 3G – INR 51,999
- 64 GB Wi-Fi + 3G – INR 54,899
There are other online stores such as ShopYourWorld.com which allow you to purchase goods from USA and get them shipped to India by paying for the shipping costs (there are also a few offers/discount coupons available by which you may avail free shipping). Apart from these online stores, grey markets in India such as Ghaffar Market in Delhi also sell all models of iPads, albiet under the covers.
Even though the iPad is available through lots of channels, I would strongly discourage any regular users to buy it because there is no service available for the iPad in India yet. Every iPad comes with 1 year of warranty and 90 days of complimentary phone support but there is no way for you to avail this warranty until the iPad is officially launched in India. So just in case your iPad goes bad, due to a manufacturing defect, or you may face any problem, you’ll have to send it back to the US (or a country where service is available) or revert to local repair guys, which would void your warranty.
Also, the 3G models are practically useless until we have widespread availability of 3G networks in India, which will take at least 6 months or an year to establish. Final verdict: wait for it if you can, but if you can’t, buy the cheapest Wi-Fi only model to get a taste of it.