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Apple iPad launched in India

New Delhi: Nearly a year after its launch, technology giant Apple’s iPad has finally hit the Indian market, with the gadget’s official launch in the country on Friday.

So far, iPad enthusiasts had to depend on the grey market or go abroad to get the device. iPad will now be available in India for prices starting at Rs. 27,900 (Wi-Fi, 16GB) to Rs. 44,900 (Wi-Fi + 3G, 64GB), according to Apple’s website.

In all, six versions of the iPad would be available in the country in Apple stores with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB memory space in Wi-fi and Wi-Fi + 3G versions.

“There are more than five tablets being launched in India and many more in the coming year but iPad is still most sought tablet in the Indian market as Apple is followed as a religion globally,” Gartner Principal Analyst Vishal Tripathi said.

Asked if the pricing could be a concern, Mr. Tripathi said, “Prices of other similar devices could pose a competition. But, we must remember that Apple has never targeted mass market and highly price conscious consumers, so that should not worry the company.”

State-run telecom operator BSNL has announced dedicated 3G plans for the iPad at Rs. 999 (unlimited monthly usage), Rs. 599 (6GB free per month, 1p/10 kb after free usage) and Rs. 99 (unlimited daily usage). Other telcos are also expected to launch tariff plans specifically for iPad.

Apple had announced the launch of iPad in the U.S. about a year ago (January 27, 2010), though it went on sale in April 2011. In India, the iPad will compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and the Olivepad, among others.

Apple’s current porfolio in India includes its Macbooks, iPhone and iPod.

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