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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 - Data Charges and Data Limit

Data Charges

Next up - data charges. Needless to say, with the iPhone, you'll be spending copious amounts of time trawling for apps on the iTunes App Store. Chances are, you probably won't have a Wi-Fi connection easily accessible at any given time. In situations like this, a suitable data plan is in need.

The following information was correct as of 8th December 2009

Initially, both M1 and StarHub have the advantage over SingTel with their data charges capped at a specific rate. Just a day after both StarHub and M1 have set their price plans, SingTel counters both telcos offer, and here's the breakdown:

  • Update as of 8th December 2009 - SingTel has also matched up to StarHub's 12GB offering, and introduces a $30 data cap for its iPhone plans.
  • Update as of 7th December 2009 - StarHub has just announced that its first three tiers for the iPhone price plans will be bundled with 12GB of free data instead of the original 1GB. This places it higher than M1's 10GB of bundled data for the lowest-end plan.
  • Update as of 8th December 2009 - M1's data capped at $36.38 will place its costing in between StarHub's $48 and SingTel's $30 data cap.
  • Update as of 9th December 2009 - StarHub has matched SingTel's data cap offer of $30, and M1 has increased its bundled data to 12GB. M1 has also lowered the data cap to $30 from the original $36.38.

For general usage, 1GB worth of data is sufficient, provided you aren't doing heavy media streaming such as YouTube videos or tethering your iPhone to your notebooks as a mobile broadband.

Hitting the Data Limit

However, should you be looking at using your iPhone price plan and tethering it to your notebooks, you should be taking the capped data limit into consideration. Now with all three telcos offering data charge cost cap, we'll be taking a look at how this pans out with the latest update. With data cost capped at $36.38 for M1 and $30 for both StarHub and Singtel, here's the breakdown:-

iPhone Data Limit Cost Comparison
  M1 StarHub SingTel
M1 iPhone Value / StarHub 3G SmartSurf 100 / SingTel iFlexi Lite $36 + $30 = $66 $38 + $30 = $68 $39 + $30 = $69
M1 iPhone Lite / StarHub 3G SmartSurf 300 / SingTel iFlexi Value $56 + $30 = $86 $58 + $30 = $88 $56 + $30 = $86
M1 iPhone Extreme / StarHub 3G SmartSurf 700 / SingTel iFlexi Plus $98 $98 + $30 = $143 $95 + $30= $125
M1 iPhone Ultimate / StarHub 3G SmartSurf Unlimited / SingTel iFlexi Premium $198 $205 $205 + $30 = $235
  • Cost of iPhone 3GS 32GB exceeding data limit with M1 iPhone Value over 24 months
  • - [ ($36 + $30) x 24 ] + $658 = $2242
  • Cost of iPhone 3GS 32GB exceeding data limit with StarHub 3G SmartSurf 100 over 24 months
  • - [ ($38 +$30) x 24 ] + $668 = $2300
  • Cost of iPhone 3GS 32GB exceeding data limit with SingTel iFlexi Lite over 24 months
  • - [ ($39 +$30) x 24 ] + $658 = $2314

The following information was correct as of 7th December 2009 - As seen, M1's price point will still be the more wallet-friendly option if you're looking to go for purely data. However, if you are looking to get more call time, the third level plans, namely StarHub SmartSurf 3G 700 and M1 iPhone Extreme gives you up to 700 minutes of talk time.

In M1's case, a flat rate of $98 is applied as you get unlimited data downloads for the M1 iPhone Extreme plan. With StarHub, the 12GB limit still holds true, and as such, should you reach the data cap, it would cost up to $146.

Update as of 8th December 2009 - With SingTel's revised iPhone price plan, on the same tier plan, SingTel's offer would be the best of the lot when it comes to the full usage of the data cap. However, SingTel hasn't introduced an unlimited data usage for its top tier iFlexi Premium plan. In essence, if you were to hit the data cap as laid out in the table, you'll still be paying slightly more over the next 24 months.

Update as of 9th December 2009 - StarHub's revised data cap has now put it as the second lowest costing iPhone with exceeded data limit over the stretch of 24 months. With M1 matching the $30 data cap, it regains the position as the cheapest iPhone exceed data limit over the 24 month period.

Interestingly, after doing a quick sum of the M1 iPhone Lite and M1 iPhone Extreme plans, we noticed something of interest for the total cost of the iPhone 3GS 32GB over a 24 months period if you were to exceed the data limit and hit the $36.38 cap:

  • M1 iPhone Lite - [ ($56 + $30) x 24 ] + $398 = $2462
  • M1 iPhone Extreme - ($98 x 24) + $98 = $2450

Now, even though you'll be paying more on the monthly subscription for the iPhone Extreme, in the long run, the unlimited data that comes with it will negate the additional $30 price cap for any extra data beyond the 10GB limit.

Further more, you'll also get 200 minutes more talktime, and based on the combined costs of the price plan and the iPhone 3GS 32GB, you'll probably find it more worthwhile to skip the M1 iPhone Lite plan in favor of the M1 iPhone Extreme plan.

Note that this is only applicable should you be a heavy data user and will more than likely exceed the data limit and hit the $36.38 cap for the next 24 months.