We’re not completely convinced, but local reports claim Apple’s preparing to open up its iTunes Store in India – and suggest the company may have booked initial sales of up to 400,000 iPhone 3Gs…

The report could be based on crossed messages – Apple’s iPhone 3G launched in India last week, so in support of the new device a new iTunes Store for India has already been opened up – but this only offers iPhone applications at this time.

Indian newspaper the Business Standard expects the company to extend what’s on offer through the store, introducing music downloads, podcasts, and eventually film and TV shows. Apple sources dismissed the notion as "rumour and speculation", the report points out.

The iPhone 3G also seems off to a strong start in India, the report indicates, informing that 400,000 people registered for the device with Apple’s two carrier partners in India, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Essar.

“We have received applications from 200,000 prospective customers who have registered through SMS and on our website. We have begun issuing the handsets through 400 Airtel outlets and 19 Apple resellers across 65 locations in India,” Bharti Airtel’s CEO (Maharashtra & Goa), Manu Talwar, said.

While initial interest is very high, the newspaper notes that this is likely to wane after the rush, because the iPhone 3G costs much more in India than it does in most other countries – 31,000 Rupees (£386, $708) for the 8GB version, and 36,000 Rupees (£448, $823) for the 16GB model of iPhone. These prices are the unit prices, with carrier subscriptions extra.


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