iPhone in Singapore
Hey, Ravenizer here.
Ok, the iPhone really is coming to Singapore. If you have been one of the few people to have signed up from the 10th till the 12th of June, you would be blessed with SingTel’s preferential treatment. That’s right! You guys would be like the first few, fortunate and blessed beings, to own the iPhone 3G. Since SingTel owned up to their launch on the 22nd, there have been quite a few articles circulating around the internet about how the launch would affect the local mobile phone industry. Reading through these articles, I came to a sudden realization that, for all you know, SingTel may not be the exclusive carrier of the iPhone. Since Apple had done away with their demands for a cut in the transactions in exchange for the right to sell, I believe that this is a sensible assumption to make. So, would it still be wise of me to get another line with SingTel, while ditching my MobileOne line? I believe that it is – seeing as to how my brother has cheaper bills compared to me. StarHub customers? Well, if you want a better coverage in terms of network, why not?
Right, lets look at the projected price plans once more. For the 8 GB iPhone (Black), it would be possible for the device to cost about S$300 in up-front payment. The contract would last for 24 or 30 months, depending on the type of plan chosen and the services being provided. The cost of the contract would roughly be around S$38 to S$45, not including extra charges that may be incurred while using HSDPA for Data.
For a more pricier plan, say about S$50 to S$60 a month, a believe the phone would naturally come free.
Looking at the above numbers, I believe you would be intuitive enough to work out the price ranges of the 16 GB iPhone (Black , White). Another pressing matter that has been brought up recently would be the possible releases of a 32 GB and 64 GB version of the iPhone around Christmas. I think this is highly unlikely to happen within this year. It would probably happen around March or June 09, but definitely not this year. The reason for this is that if Apple intended for such a high capacity phone, it would have done so right at its launch. Furthermore, Flash disks, especially the kind used in the iPhones, are extremely expensive (MacBook Air anyone?) at this point in time. The prices of the iPhones would sky-rocket in such a way that everything Apple has done to make the iPhone as cheap as it is right now, would come to a waste.
To end this section, here are some articles from the New Paper, as well as The Straits Times.
AUGUST 14, 2008
WHILE thousands of Apple fans in Singapore have placed orders for the iPhone 3G to be launched here next Friday, users elsewhere are disgruntled over its glitches.
|Customers waiting in line to buy the iPhone 3G in Tokyo, Japan. — Picture: AP|
Widespread complaints about the iPhone 3G’s reception have spread across the internet a month since Apple and AT&T released the successor to the original iPhone.
The companies insist nothing is wrong, but complaints have been mounting through e-mails, water-cooler discussions and message boards on Apple’s website, reported CNET News.com.
iPhone 3G users are having trouble connecting, and staying connected, to the 3G networks in their areas.
Sales professional Mr Ryan Shaw has had enough of the hassle.
After his third iPhone 3G continued to cut him off in the middle of his conversations, he has decided to give it up for a Verizon or the Blackberry.
He said: ‘The phone was a disappointment from the standpoint that it couldn’t maintain a consistent connection with the 3G network.
‘All the other features were fantastic.’
Other users say the iPhone switches between 3G and other high-speed data networks even when the device is untouched.
They will lose reception in the middle of a call while traveling through a 3G-rich environment.
Added another iPhone 3G owner MrDavid Howard: ‘Frankly, if I knew it was going to be like this, I wouldn’t have paid the extra US$10 ($14) a month.’
These issues do not appear to be confined to AT&T’s network: iPhone 3G users in other countries report similar problems with their new phones.
While an AT&T spokesman said the iPhone 3G is doing well, he is ‘not denying that people are having problems’, adding that they are dealing with it on a case-by-case basis.
Though neither Apple nor AT&T acknowledge the internet uproar, the issue could be a combination of network glitches and device problems.
Network coverage is not the only possible cause as users of other mobile phones on AT&T’s 3G network are not reporting the same kinds of issues.
Some users who have exchanged their iPhone 3Gs for new units also report stronger reception with the new phones.
THE STRAITS TIMES
AUGUST 14, 2008
By Chua Hian HouTHE nail-biting wait for diehard fans of the Apple iPhone 3G is nearly over.
The device will go on sale on Friday next week, according to SingTel – the first telco to offer the phone here.
But there are still plenty of mysteries associated with the launch. Prospective buyers have to wait to learn the price, the details of the subscription plan they will need to sign with SingTel, and the number of handsets it will bring in.
First dibs will go to the tens of thousands of iPhone fans who have already made online reservations at SingTel’s website, said the telco’s Singapore chief executive Allen Lew yesterday.
SingTel will keep taking reservations for the phone – which will be available in both the 8GB and 16GB versions – till this Sunday. Customers can expect the iPhone’s price to be subsidised, he said.
This could mean iPhone buyers paying a lower price if they sign up for a pricey plan or take up a longer term contract with the telco.
The main features of the iPhone are its high-speed 3G wireless data access and sleek touch-screen interface. The device has garnered largely positive reviews since its debut last month.
Recently though, complaints have begun surfacing on technology websites that its glossy case is prone to cracking.
Its MobileMe subscription-based e-mail and online storage service has also been hit by bugs, a problem acknowledged by Apple head honcho Steve Jobs.
SingTel announced the date of the product launch at its first-quarter financial results briefing yesterday.
It reported weaker-than-expected results with net profits falling 5.3 per cent to $878 million for the period ended June 30. Revenues were up 5.9 per cent to $3.78 billion. Earnings per share were 5.52 cents, down from 5.83 cents.
The region’s No. 1 telco had taken a hit from the Singdollar’s appreciation against regional currencies, said group chief executive Chua Sock Koong.
About half of SingTel’s revenues come from its regional associates such as India’s Bharti and Indonesia’s Telkomsel. The Indian rupee had fallen 15 per cent, and the Indonesian rupiah 13 per cent, against the Singapore dollar in the quarter. Excluding currency fluctuations, SingTel would have reported a 1 per cent rise in net profits.
This was the first time in 13 quarters that earnings from its regional associates had dipped. Yesterday, SingTel also amended its earlier forecast of ‘double- digit’ growth from its regional associates to ‘low double-digit’ growth.
At home, mobile number portability, took its toll. Marketing, customer acquisition and retention costs, and other sales-related expenses shot up 38.9 per cent to $203 million.
Citi Investment Research’s Anand Ramachandran, in an analyst note published after the results were released, said SingTel, while a low-risk share to hold in the current volatile climate, ‘needs a growth boost’. He kept his ‘hold’ rating, with a price target of $4.
SingTel shares closed at $3.52, down six cents.
Another thing that is worth a mention is the reservation process. After completing Step 1 of the Reservation Process, some customers might have been appalled by the next page:
Basically, the 2nd step blatantly claims that you would have to physically go down to one of the hello! shop run by SingTel to apparently confirm your reservation. I believe what they meant was, “Once we say can collect your phone, get your ass here to buy it”. Haha, pardon me for that sudden use of Singlish. Anyway, to clarify that my understanding was indeed accurate, I called up SingTel Mobile at 1626 to confirm this with the staff. I was right!
Ok, one last thing. Since we have not received any news from the SingTel today, it is only correct to assume that they would tomorrow. SingTel had mentioned in their elusive emails that they would provide potential customers with 1 week’s worth of notice before they had to go down to complete the purchase. So, keep your fingers crossed and hope (like you never hoped before) that SingTel drops a mail in your inbox.
(P.S. Don’t go staring at your inbox the whole day. The good news usually arrives at around 5:50 p.m. Singapore Time i.e. GMT +8:00)
A couple of things on the Blog needs updating. I know. Firstly, the information fields of Spiky, one of our authors, is still blank. And so is his page. We are currently working on that situation. The amount of work that the poor chap has had to pull through, recently, has really been monumental. However, the good news would be that our dear friend will be joining me and Graphicks on the “Video Review” that we have planned for the iPhone 3G.
Another thing that falls on my shoulders is the .Mac (MobileMe) Alternatives post. I will get that particular article wrapped up as soon as possible.
I am happy to report that the blog as a whole has been having quite a good reception from netizens all over the world. I hope this will continue to be the case.