Industry sources say SingTel will launch iPhone in S'pore in Sep

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Extracted from Channelnewsasia.

SINGAPORE: Industry sources said Apple's iPhone will be launched in Singapore by SingTel this September, but the telco has neither confirmed nor denied this.

With its cool functions and design, the iPhone has got millions of American admirers hooked since its debut in June 2007.

Even before its official launch in Singapore, retailers estimated that gadget fans here have snapped up about 10,000 iPhones through different avenues, with some paying over S$1,000 to be the first in Singapore to own the device.

More people will soon be able to get their hands on the iPhone as a local vendor, who works closely with Apple associates in the US, revealed that "SingTel has more or less sealed the deal". The vendor refused to be named.

Observers said such a deal is consistent with Apple's track record of working with top mobile operators.

They said, however, it is unlikely SingTel will agree on a revenue-sharing model with Apple on phone sales, as it is currently done in Europe and the US.

Aloysius Choong, research manager for IDC Asia/Pacific, said: "We've heard an Apple executive coming out to say that they don't necessarily need to go with that model. So it could be, and it will be in the long term, (going) back to a more familiar relationship where you distribute through the operators, you get a subsidy through the operators."

The iPhone that is making its way in Singapore is likely to be the latest model.

Zachary Wong, retail operations manager of iShop, said: "You never expect what Apple is able to pull out. The 3G model could be in Singapore as well. 3G is the industry platform for this part of the world, so I say the demand for the newer model of the phone will be much, much higher."

Retailers expect the phone to be priced around S$690.

Industry players said there will be no shortage of takers.

"When it first started in late June 2007, the demand was extremely high. It tampered down a little bit but demand is still very strong," said Mr Wong.

Mr Choong agreed: "Consumers are looking for... design and brand. And these two are really what the iPhone has in place. And not just that, one great thing about the iPhone is that it goes beyond the usual business of tech early adopters."

"I think you're going to see demand coming from various segments, from the business users to the moms and pops," he added.

Apple has said it plans to sell 10 million units of iPhone in Asia this year. - CNA
How about Starhub or M1? Are we going to see another monopoly here? (Resembling US's AT&T)

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