What's New in the Gray - Tech2's Market Watch

One way to get our technology would be to go the way of the legitimate bill and warranty scenario i.e. make purchases from the big brand stores, chains or company outlets. Then there’s the infamous gray market that gives us access to technology that we may have never even heard of as well as that which is available only in very specific parts of the planet and won’t make it here till months after it’s been launched. Let’s put it this way, for those techies without patience who want/need the latest gadgets as soon as the rest of world has access to them, the gray market is a Godsend.

Here’s a closer look at some of the latest tech out there that isn’t here on an official basis. Just remember, prices will vary according to shopkeepers although some prices, I noticed, seemed to be quite consistent throughout. The prices I’ve included are just approximates and it’s possible they would go up or reduce given time.

Google Nexus One – Rs. 28,000

Google’s Nexus One still seems like a long way from here. The handset seems to be selling in the gray but word is, not too well. Quiet a few of the shops I asked mentioned that they were even recommending alternative options to the Nexus One to customers requesting the same. It seems the world is still finding a few bugs in Google first official branded handset and one doesn’t want to have to shell out that much cash for a handset that even the shops owners are weary of. Almost all of the larger shops had at least one or two pieces still sitting on the shelf. This ‘Premier’ Google Android device had better have the bugs ironed out before it hits us officially or the search giant’s going to meet with some serious abuse.

HTC Desire – Rs. 28,000

The alternative to the Nexus One, it seems was HTC’s Desire. This Android handset has been faring quite well, I was told with minimal, if any at all, complaints. It’s loaded with quite a few goodies from multimedia to, of course, social networking and connectivity and will also be running on Android 2.1 that has a few tweaks that makes the Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1 GHz processor come alive. That and Sense UI. Some of the other features included with the handset that’s making it a good sale, are the 5MP camera, Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities and the built-in FM radio. I’m quite looking forward to its official Indian debut, but if you can’t wait, it’s already out there.

Nokia X6 – Rs. 17,000, Nokia X3 – Rs. 6,700
Now here’s a real shocker. Nokia’s much awaited multimedia touchscreen handset with its 3.2-inch capacitive (that’s right) touchscreen and 32 Gigs of internal memory was standing quite proudly on shelves everywhere. Nokia is still doing quite well in both markets but the gray is always the best places to get the handsets that have been launched abroad and will take its sweet time getting here. I was quite taken aback with the low pricing as devices like the N97 with that much memory was priced in the Rs. 30,000 plus range. It’s loaded with features and I’m expecting it do quiet well if or when it gets here for real.

The X3 slider was also on hand is very reasonably priced. It’s a lower end edition of the X2 with no internal memory or support for 3G. It’s equipped with a 3 megapixel fixed focus camera, a radio and a 3.5mm handsfree port. It's a slick looking handset that also has the potential to do quite well as a budget multimedia handset and just might steal the limelight from the 5230 and 5233.
Nokia C5 – Rs. 10,500

The C5 has just been globally launched and is designed for the avid social networker. It allows you to update and check you social network accounts right from the desktop. The overall form very sleek even for a candy bar handset. It offers 3G support with Bluetooth, an FM radio, 3MP camera with an LED flash and GPS with free Ovi Maps.

Misc. Handsets
With regards to handsets that are officially launched here in India, BlackBerry is faring extremely well. The 9700 is selling at Rs. 21,500 if you want it without a bill and warranty. Add a bill and the price goes up to Rs. 28,000. It seemed this handset was also the preferred choice for almost all shop owners.

LG doesn’t seem to be doing too well. Premium handsets like the BL40 that have an MRP of Rs. 30,000 are being sold at almost half the price at Rs. 17,500. It seems like LG handsets were generally a little difficult to unload. The Pep, however is doing quite well in contrast to most of the other high end devices. I was told it’s doing as well as the original Cookie which was, according to some, selling like hot cakes. I’m summarizing.

Another handset that’s doing really well is Motorola’s MILESTONE Android handset. It’s available for about Rs. 23,000 without a bill.

Misc. Devices
Apple iPad 16GB – Rs. 32,500, 32GB – Rs. 38, 500, 64GB – Rs. 45, 000

It’s quite possible that the Apple iPad will not get here for at least another 2-3 months, if we’re lucky seeing how the 3GS only made it here almost a year after it was officially released in the US. The Wi-Fi editions of the iPad in all memory capacities are easily available in the gray for about Rs. 10,000 more than what the US price translates too. That’s how it works with high-end devices that are currently more popular than fights over religion. Nevertheless if an iPad is what you’re craving and you’re not interested in waiting on pins and needles till it gets here, it’s easily available.

While all of these devices are readily available in the gray market, the one thing you can’t expect is a company warranty and in most cases a bill. Those will cost you extra. But anyone who’s ever shopped in the gray already knows this. But if you’re looking for the latest technology that isn’t officially here yet, take a stroll down to your local gray market dealer and more often than not you’ll find everything you’re looking for and then some.

Published Date: May 06, 2010 03:55 pm | Updated Date: May 06, 2010 03:55 pm