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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Comparing Apple/AT&T iPhone plans to Singapore's plans

Apple iPhone
Apple and AT&T announced three mobile plans for the iPhone today. These range from US$59.99 to US$99.99. At first glance, I thought, "Wow! That's outrageous!" I was sure that comparable plans in Singapore would be much cheaper.

Alas, how wrong I was.

Here's a table comparing the plans.
CarrierIncl. SMS300 mins400 mins450 mins680 mins700 mins900 mins1,350 mins1,500 mins2,000 mins
AT&T (US$/S$)200

59.99
(92.26)


79.99
(123.02)
99.99
(153.78)


SingTel360*



105.79

221.81
500**99.75


162.75



M1300*
42.00





105.00
50047.25


81.38



StarHub300


92.40




50047.25


81.38



90050.40







2,000







197.40
All of the local telcos offer free incoming talk time until the end of 2008 at the earliest.
* Based on non-promotional usual price
** Based on first year's subscription rate


At first glance, it seems like there are some local plans that look more affordable than AT&T's. Of course, I'm not comparing apples with apples (pardon the pun), because of variable charges like extra minute charges, registration, etc.

But wait, there's more! AT&T offers unlimited data usage. In contrast, the local telcos offer add-on data plans:
  • M1 - $313.95 maximum (for two of its data plans)
  • StarHub - $105 unlimited
M1's maximum data charges alone far exceed any of AT&T's combined talk and data plans. Meanwhile, StarHub's cheapest mobile plan doesn't look so cheap once you add the extra hundred dollars. (Unfortunately, I couldn't find any prices for SingTel's maximum data charges or unlimited plans, if any.)

So it would seem that the iPhone plans are actually cheaper than what you can get in Singapore! And here, I always thought that mobile plans in the U.S. were a rip-off.

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