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iPhone Price Plans - Choosing the Right Fit *Updated as of 9th Dec*

iPhone Price Plans - Choosing the Right Fit *Updated as of 9th Dec*



iPhone Price Plans - Additional Offerings & Penalties

Additional Offerings

With the two basic considerations (pricing and data) fully scrutinized, we now look at the added value services from all three telcos.

SingTel

SingTel has gained a substantial foothold in the mobile entertainment area within the past few months. Just a while back in June, the company announced the availability of its own music download service dubbed as SingTel Amped. In line with the iPhone's roots as a multimedia player, this makes the music service a great add-on for the device, and you have to consider the fact that we aren't getting the iTunes Music Store in Singapore.

The following information was correct as of 7th December 2009 - Additional offerings such as free live viewing of SingTel's mioTV on Mobile is also available on the iPhone, though we understand from a SingTel spokesperson that this offer is only valid till 31st December 2009.

Update as of 8th December 2009 - SingTel's revised plans include free mioTV on Mobile for the iPhone until 31st March 2010.

StarHub

StarHub also comes with its unique set of services that complements the iPhone's features. Such examples include StarHub TV on Mobile, which will be free for view till 31st March 2010. By 9th December, there'll be a total of 20 channels on StarHub TV on Mobile available for viewing, with new additions such as National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Adventure and Fashion TV. Subsequently, you can view StarHub TV on Mobile for $1 per 24 hours block, with absolutely no data charges associated with the streamed media.

Social networking is also one of the added features as enjoyed by StarHub users. This includes Mobitweet that's either a SMS-based or web-based Twitter push notification service for any StarHub users. Adding on to that, StarHub also offers free data usage for activities limited to Windows Live Messenger and Facebook on your mobile devices. So, even with a 1GB data limit, there are means and ways where you can save up on specific data usage with StarHub.

M1

M1's marketing strategy isn't just aggressive on the pricing of its subscription, the bundled data package and the iPhone cost. When it comes to customer conversion, M1 is offering a few more tricks up its sleeves with the iPhone tariff rebate to reward existing iPhone owners. According to an M1 spokesperson, all you need to do, is head on down to any M1 shop and present your iPhone, iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS and request to sign up for an M1 iPhone plan. This will bound you to the telco under a contract for the next 24 months.

M1 iPhone Rebate over 12 months
Plans iPhone Value iPhone Lite iPhone Extreme iPhone Unlimited
Rebate $350 $600 $800 $1000

Putting it into numbers once more, we look at the iPhone Value plan, priced at $36 per month. With an existing rebate that is paid off within the first 12 months, you'll only need to pay:-

($36 x 12) - $350 = $82 over the first 12 months.

That brings it to nearly $7 per month for an iPhone user who wishes to hop on board the M1 bandwagon. Following which, the price plan will revert back to $36 / month for the remaining 12 months.

As pointed out by one of our readers, if you look at the average costing over the 24 months period, your average cost for the price plan will actually be:

[($36 x 24) -$350] / 24 = ~$21.50.


Conversion from SingTel

Rounding off this last section, we explore the one question that could be on consumer's mind - what if you had switched to SingTel, and would like to make a 180-degree turn back to either StarHub or M1?

According to SingTel's website, for new customers who terminate within the three month minimum subscription period, three months' list price on the respective price plans plus an $856 equipment penalty will apply.

For terminations after the minimum three months subscription and within the contract period, the $856 equipment penalty will apply.

The following information was correct as of 7th December 2009 - In any case, if you're a current Singtel iFlexi plan customer, this news bit is for you:- According to a SingTel spokesperson whom we just spoke to earlier, the company is looking to revise its current iFlexi plans within the next few days. The newly revised plans, as according to Mr. Yuen Kuan Moon, Executive Vice President, Consumer, SingTel, will be extended to new and existing iFlexi customers.

Update as of 8th December 2009 - As promised, SingTel has revised its iPhone price plan, and the new iFlexi plans will be extended to all current SingTel iPhone users. With all three telcos placed side-by-side, it now offers greater savings on the first three tiers of its price plan, whilst the highest tier iFlexi Premium will still be bogged down by the extra cost due to the lack of an unlimited data usage in its costing.

Conclusion

So, what's the deal when it comes to the iPhone? Out of the three telcos, as of now, M1 has the best offer to date, with its bundled 10GB data and unlimited talk time, messages and data for its highest-end plan. In terms of device pricing, M1 currently is enjoying the advantage too. If price is the biggest factor in your purchasing consideration, then M1 will be your choice.

But take note that with M1, your add-on services are limited. StarHub and SingTel offer a wider range of services such as music downloads, mobile TV and social networking services. Thus comes the question - are the other services and content important to you?

For music lovers, SingTel's AMPed service is a great alternative to what is lacking on the current iPhone's lack of a local iTunes Store. Looking over 'greener' pastures, StarHub's wide support for social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Windows Live Messenger is well-suited for those who truly want a 24/7 connection to their social circle. Add on to its own wide network of mobile content on its StarHub TV on Mobile, and the potential discounts you get as a subscriber of all the major StarHub services, you might see greater savings in the long run.

The following information was correct as of 7th December 2009 - So in summary:-

  • Best plan for pure pricing goes to M1.
  • Best plan with music content goes to Singtel.
  • Best plan with social networking and TV on-the-go goes to StarHub.

Update as of 8th December 2009 - Even with SingTel and StarHub's revised iPhone price plan, M1 still retains its position as the winner of the best plan for pure pricing. However, this is working on the assumption that you stick to to the allocated talktime, bundled SMS and data usage.

Should you see yourself exceeding the data limit (which could be the case for an iPhone user who streams online media quite often), M1 still keeps its positioning as the telco offering the cheapest iPhone over the 24 months period.