(REUTERS) -- The iPhone 4S, the final gadget unveiled during Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' lifetime, hit Indian stores Friday with a starting price of 44,500 rupees.
At about four times the U.S. retail price where customers buy mandatory data-service plans, the phone may still find buyers among affluent young professionals in India who are snapping up iconic brands and luxury items.
Unlike their western peers, Indian mobile operators do not subsidise cost of phones. Airtel and Aircel are selling the 16 GB model for 44,500 rupees, with the 32 GB version priced at 50,900 rupees and the 64 GB model available for 57,500 rupees. Both mobile operators, which started selling the iPhone 4S from midnight on Friday, are offering discounted data plans.
Media reports last week said Indian fans were unhappy that the smartphone will be more expensive in India than anywhere else in the world.
The final gadget unveiled during Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' lifetime is more expensive that the iPad 2 in India, with the base model of the tablet selling for 27,900 rupees. Even its top-end model, with 64 GB of memory and WiFi & 3G, costs 46,900 rupees.
The new iPhone comes with a faster processor, a better light-sensitive camera, and voice-activated software Siri. On Friday, the Aircel website showed that the 64 GB version, both black and white, was sold out.