The iPhone 3GS at Rs. 9,999 is still a good buy

A couple of days ago, Aircel — the 7th largest carrier in India, announced that it would be selling the iPhone 3GS for just Rs. 9,999 along with a Rs. 3000 advance rental for a year that includes unlimited data. The phone is still available in the market at an MRP of Rs. 19,999, so this seems like an Aircel exclusive offer that Apple has not part in.

First Post, one of the better new-media news outlet websites in recent times, was quick to diss this offer by Aircel and published their story, “Why the Rs 9,999 iPhone 3GS is not such a great buy“.

The offer sounds totally cool and is awesome since this is probably the first iPhone to cost so little in India. For all those who always wanted an iPhone this could be a great opportunity to get their hands on one.

However, before you get excited, here are three reasons why you shouldn’t buy the iPhone 3GS, no matter how dirt cheap it sounds.

Let’s ignore the fact that this is actually one of those “X reasons why you shouldn’t do Y” kind of post. They list down these reasons why the phone isn’t a good great buy:

1) No FaceTime: No front camera means no FaceTime, no Skype. Seriously, what’s the point of owning an Apple product without FaceTime. An 8GB iPod Touch, which is only Rs 13,000, has FaceTime. What’s the use of having a smartphone when you can’t make video calls?

No front-facing camera is a problem, sure, but is it really a deal-breaker?

2) Super slow processor and less storage space: The iPhone 3GS has a 800Mhz Cortex A8 processor under-clocked to 600Mhz and only 256MB of RAM along with an 8GB Flash Drive storage. Ah, in the age of quad-core processors you’d still be paying Rs 10,000 for a smartphone with very basic RAM. Temple Run will suck on such a slow smartphone.

You do realize that the iPhone 3GS came out in 2009, right? And when has it ever mattered what specs an Apple device has? It has always been about the user experience, specially on the iOS devices. The iPhone 3GS is still a very solid phone in terms of performance and usability.

For a moment, let’s take a look at the other smartphones available in the Indian market around the same price point. I could not find a single smartphone that had a quad-core processor with a decent enough UX and no lag in the OS. If you’re saying that the 3GS has a “super slow processor” and “only 256MB of RAM” and hence “isn’t a great buy”, show me a phone that’s an alternative.

In the 3rd point, the article reasons that even though the phone is priced at Rs. 9,999, you still have an additional Rs. 3000 to pay as the year’s rental. Even then, the cost of the phone comes to Rs. 12,999 which
is much lower than the MRP of Rs. 19,999.

Now there’s a good chance Aircel here is just getting rid of its current stock in preparation for the next iPhone. Even then, the iPhone 3GS is still a fantastic purchase at Rs. 12,999 considering it’s set to receive the latest and greatest version of iOS (v6.0) come fall. It still plays a large number of awesome games available on the App Store. Heck, it even plays Temple Run just fine.

The iPhone 3GS might not be a great purchase knowing that a new iPhone comes out in 3 months, but at just Rs. 12,999, it’s still a fantastic phone considering the alternatives one has.