The iPhone 4S, the final gadget unveiled during Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' lifetime, hit store shelves in India on Friday with a starting price of Rs 44,500.
At about four times the US 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 Rs 44,500, with the 32 GB version priced at Rs 50,900 and the 64 GB model available for Rs 57,500.
Media reports last week said Indian fans were unhappy that the smartphone will be more expensive in India than anywhere else in the world.
Both mobile operators, which started selling the iPhone 4S from midnight on Friday, are offering discounted data plans.
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 Rs 27,900. Even its top-end model, with 64 GB of memory and WiFi & 3G, costs RS 46,900.
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.