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Friday, June 29, 2007

HCL Info, Wipro for dealerships with iPhone

MUMBAI: Friday 6 pm U.S time. As the world gets ready for this deadline to grab one of the most sought after handsets - the iPhone - two Indian companies are also getting ready to register gains from this revolutionary offering of Apple Inc., the makers of Macintosh computer (popularly called Mac) and the iPod.

Noida-based HCL Infosystems and Bangalore-based Wipro Technologies are close to becoming the exclusive Indian distributors of the iPhone. Analysts are expecting 1-3 million handsets to hit the shelves on Friday.

A luxury product costing $499 for 4 gigabytes memory and $599 for 8 gigabytes memory, iPhone will have a large touch screen minus the conventional keypad. It will also double up as an iPod, video player and will come equipped with a digital camera.

Despite some of its flaws, the iPhone has bagged rare reviews and is being branded as a 'breakthrough handheld computer' as it automatically syncs all contacts from a PC, a MAC or internet service.

The good response is seen helping Apple Inc's head, Steve Jobs, to meet his goal of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008. Such sales will automatically catapult iPhone to third major revenue garner for Apple along with Mac and the iPod.

Back home, HCL Info and Wipro may have to wait only few weeks before counting their profits. Generally, companies get 2-3% commission on the sale of handsets.

"The hype behind the iPhones launch globally has already hit the Indian shores. There are quite a few people waiting to grab the latest gizmo," said technology analyst of leading domestic broking firm.

Both HCL Info and Wipro could not be reached for comments. On the distribution side, HCL Info already has an edge due to its multi-year contract with Nokia. In the domestic market, Nokia has 71% marketshare (as on February 2007) followed by Motorola at 14%, Sony Ericsson at 8%, Samsung at 3% and rest 4%.

In U.S, AT&T has bagged the multi-year license to distribute iPhone. As per media reports, AT&T will be selling iPhone with a two-year service plan with prices varying from $60-220 a month. The phone will also be available directly from Apple retail stores.

- Via TOI
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