After much speculation over the last many months, it is now officially confirmed that SingTel will launch the iPhone 3G in Singapore on 22 August 2008. The same day will also see the iPhone 3G launched in about 20 other countries. The Reuters report of SingTel’s announcement said nothing more. I guess the next biggest question on everyone’s mind is: How much?
There is one piece of hearsay floating on the net that says there will be two options on pricing: customers paying for a more expensive data plan may be able to get the 8GB or 16GB iPhone 3G free, while customers opting for a more inexpensive data plan may have to pay a monthly fee for the phone. A monthly fee? I suppose this really means an installment repayment plan spread across a fixed number of months. It doesn’t seem right to be paying a perpetual “fee” to own the iPhone 3G.
As you might know, the iPhone 3G 8GB and 16GB models are relatively cheap at US$199 and US$299 respectively in the US with a mobile contract, and US$599 and US$699 respectively without a contract. Based on the US non-contract price, we might make a guess that the non-contract price in Singapore would be about S$1000. This is consistent with the Sunday Times article I mentioned some time ago that put the Singapore pricing at between S$500 to S$1000.
With mobile phone contracts here offering discounts of perhaps up to S$500… we could perhaps expect the up-front cost of the iPhone 3G to be in the region of S$500 (or the equivalent in whatever pricing package they come up with). SingTel being the exclusive retailer of the iPhone 3G in Singapore initially will mean that their pricing could be set at a premium.
This is all speculation of course. We have just about 10 days to know when SingTel officially launches the iPhone 3G here.