Tel­cos still firm­ing up price pack­ages for lat­est iPhones

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SiN­ga­PorE — Lo­cal tel­cos Sing­tel, StarHub and M1 are al­ready ac­cept­ing registrations of in­ter­est for the lat­est slate of of­fer­ings from tech gi­ant Ap­ple, while still firm­ing up their pric­ing for pack­ages that bun­dle the new­est hand­phones to their sub­scrip­tion plans.

Ap­ple yes­ter­day launched its pre­mium iPhone X which will be priced at S$1,648, with the iPhone 8 Plus to re­tail at S$1,308 and the iPhone 8 at S$1,148.

How­ever, the phones will only be avail­able for pre-or­der from next week. M1 said it will of­fer Ap­ple’s lat­est prod­ucts in­clud­ing the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3 (GPS) and Ap­ple TV 4K from next Fri­day.

En­cour­ag­ing cus­tomers to sub­mit quick registrations of in­ter­est, a StarHub spokesper­son said: “We will close reg­is­tra­tion within the next few days so as to en­sure a smooth ap­point­ment book­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for cus­tomers.”

An­a­lysts said the telecom op­er­a­tors are likely to give higher sub­si­dies to lock cus­tomers in over the next few years. Mean­while, con­sumers in Sin­ga­pore told TO­DAY they are tak­ing a wait-and-see ap­proach, given the high price tags.

“I won’t pre-or­der. I’m go­ing to go feel it out first. On price, I’ll need a telco to sub­sidise me,” said Mr Gavin Yeow, 29, who works in a technology con­sult­ing firm.

Simei res­i­dent Lynette Tan, 24, said she will not be pre-or­der­ing given the “hefty price tag”, and plans to wait to see how other users re­view the new mod­els be­fore de­cid­ing.

IT con­sul­tant An­chal Vib­huti high­lighted that the new An­droid phones also pack in al­most an equal punch at more af­ford­able rates.

Mr Mark Jansen, technology, me­dia and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions leader for PwC Sin­ga­pore, said of the new iPhones: “From a pure cus­tomer stand­point price sticks out, it is a lot to spend.” How­ever, he noted that there is po­ten­tial pent-up de­mand from users of iPhone 6 and be­low.

Mr Eu­gene Chua, in­vest­ment an­a­lyst at OCBC In­vest­ment Re­search high­lighted that in an in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive land­scape, sub­si­dies given by the tel­cos may be higher this time round due to the pres­sure to se­cure more cus­tomers on new con­tracts be­fore TPG and MyRepub­lic launch mo­bile ser­vices.

With the Sam­sung Gal­axy Note 8 and the new iPhone mod­els launch­ing dur­ing this pe­riod, Mr Chua said equip­ment sales will likely in­crease in the fi­nal quar­ter of this year and the first quar­ter of next year.

“The abil­ity to re­tain cus­tomers will re­ally de­pend on ser­vice qual­ity, bundling op­tions and at­trac­tive­ness of the plans’ pric­ing,” he added.

Ap­ple also un­veiled its new Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3 with cel­lu­lar ca­pa­bil­i­ties and up­graded Ap­ple TV which is able to stream in 4K res­o­lu­tion.

It has twice the ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal res­o­lu­tion of older high-def­i­ni­tion TVs. rumi hardaSmalaNi

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