Sunday, 15 June 2008

iPhone uPay

iPhone Credit: Apple ComputerThe legal route to 3G iPhone ownership in Singapore is becoming clearer. SingTel has the lead with an expected market launch in September, a few months after its US debut in July.

I went ahead and pre-ordered by SingTel's web page:

Thanks for your interest.

Currently iPhones can only be reserved at your local hello! store.

Please don't forget to bring your personal identification documents. (NRIC/Passport/Employment Pass) SingTel will reconfirm your details in-store in order to confirm your reservation for iPhone 3G.

Please click on the this link to find your closest store.

The following terms and conditions are important - please read them carefully
1. The reservation shall commence on 10th June 2008 and shall expire when the phone becomes available in Singapore
2. The Phone is not available in Singapore and is not currently type approved by the IDA for sale and use in Singapore, which approval is mandatory under Singapore laws.
3. This reservation is merely an indication of my interest to purchase the Phone (if and when available) and is not to be construed as an offer, advertisement, invitation to purchase, sale & purchase or as a binding agreement of whatever nature for the sale/purchase of the Phone.
4. The price of the Phone, service packaging options, terms and conditions of sale will only be made known by SingTel Mobile when the Phone is available and type approved by the IDA.
5. I will be given a consideration period of one (1) week from the date of notification by SingTel Mobile that the Phone is available for sale.
6. SingTel Mobile shall not be liable for non-availability of the Phone or non-approval of the Phone or any other cause resulting in the Phone not being made available for sale in Singapore.
7. SingTel Mobile reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions by notice in such manner as SingTel Mobile deems appropriate. These terms and conditions shall be subject to and construed in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Singapore

If you follow the "Find Nearest Store", you get bounced to the generic Apple page even though you have just given them your address? Pretty dump web integration guys and you still need to go down there and queue? <gack> I passed a Hello! store this afternoon but the queue was long and unmoving so I passed.

The bad news is that while SingTel's rivals (StarHub and M1) are expected to have the phone after SingTel's launch, SingTel's pricing will have a significant price premium for early adopters, probably over S$500 plus a hefty monthly fee and an 18 month lock in.

Point #2 reminds us IDA approval is technically a legal requirement but only for phones sold here (otherwise Singapore's 9m annual visitors would be unable to use their mobiles). The real purpose is to put fear and doubt in the minds of people who are thinking of buying an unlocked phone from, say, hmmm, Australia or Hong Kong?