The iPhone 5 officially launched in India last Friday, and just a day later, stores were selling out of their stock. Don’t get too excited. Indian sources note only about 15,000 phones were made available for that market, so a sellout isn’t too surprising. There were about 100,000 phones made available to India in the first month. An additional 200,000 are expected to arrive by the end of December.
Those numbers aren’t huge (I’d guess that several North American stores will sell as many in the same time period), but the point here is that demand is high around the world.
The iPhone 5 isn’t cheap in India. In addition to service and shipment fees, India’s currency also plays a factor. The low-end 16 GB iPhone sells for 45,500 rupees, or about US$833 (as of this writing). When you combine those prices with the fact that these phones did sell out, there’s a really big indicator of why Apple is so interested to get sales rolling overseas, and why it expects places like India and China both to be such big markets in the future.