This just in. Croma is in talks with Apple to sell unlocked iphone 3GS in India. Initially was to be launched tomorrow but, apparently apple price was high and vodafone and airtel started waving contracts. Launch hopefully now on 19 October (or 9th - my cell network dropped at that very moment) if all goes well.
eBay == Huge markup well over the cost price + chances of fraud.
What was the total cost of the 3GS from ebay excluding customs charges?
Not if you buy from reputed sellers. Cost was some $50-60 over price in AUS Apple store, plus $40 expedited shipping with tracking code.
Friend of mine messaged the people who bought from a seemingly reputed seller and got a guy in TN who had bought the 3GS. Got the customs rate from that guy.
ps: It is becoming increasingly difficult to jailbreak and upgrade. TUAW has an article, an interview with Saurik, which says that newer firmware will have to be approved by Apple before it gets installed on the phone. Yes, a working net connection will soon become a requirement to install a firmware.
So better to get a factory unlocked phone than buy a contract phone. Only drawback (and it is a huge one) is the cost. :(