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Monday, May 19, 2008

What will happen when SingTel brings iPhone to Singapore?

Apple iPhone
Well, I guess I'm a little late with the "big news", which is that SingTel has confirmed officially that it will be bringing the iPhone into Singapore. Estimated time of delivery: later half of the year. That's in line with the rumoured September launch date. If the other rumours are true, then it could also mean that we'll see the 3G version.

Meanwhile, in today's papers, there was a write-up about what could happen next. The basic premise is that people who want an iPhone already have an iPhone, thanks to the black market here. Personally, I can't imagine paying $800 for a 2.5G phone, but hey, I'm also the guy who coughed up more than $500 for my first phone with a crappy camera, so who am I to compare?

Anyway, the point is, when SingTel brings the iPhone to Singapore, it'll probably only be able to get a small share of new customers. The bigger market could come from those who want to upgrade from their hacked versions. That assumes that these people still have money to upgrade and SingTel is willing to take in these somewhat illegally modified iPhones.

So where would SingTel get its sales from? The article highlighted another group: aspirants from neighbouring countries where the iPhone is not available. It so happens that these folks are also probably the same ones who send their children to study in Singapore with money pouring out of their ears and mouths. Yeah, lots of rich kids here who are eager to snap up the iPhones for themselves and, of course, sell them back home for a quick buck, thus making them even richer.

Let the iPhone frenzy begin anew!


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