So, after months and months of hype, finally the 3G iPhone comes to Singapore through an exclusive deal with SingTel.
People in the industry have talked about this for months, and sources have long said the launch would be in June as Apple launches its 3G version (though some reports put it inaccurately in Sept).
So, what’s the big deal?
Not much for Singapore, unless you’re already a Machead and are intending to go buy another iPhone. It is also not clear if SingTel has got a good deal by paying for the exclusive dealership of the phone here in Singapore.
Unlike in the US, there is no SIM-locking, that is, phones can be used across all operators here. So, you’ll see ahbengs selling some “SingTel-branded” iPhones in stores soon, but you’d be able to use your StarHub or M1 SIM card on them.
As research firm Ovum put it nicely, there is nothing new on the iPhone that other vendors haven’t done. The main good thing is that the price is lower (from US$199), so that makes it a better deal (and makes early adopters here look like jokers).
But Ovum did say that the hype – words like “PR juggernaut” and “more headline grabbing media coverage” come to mind – will make the iPhone a popular sell.
So, more hype from Apple. Yup, the iPhone’s a nice phone. But for it to finally have 3.5G (HSPA) when other makes have had it for more than a year is hardly “innovative” and “earth-shattering”.
Sadly, that’s what you’d read from some of these Mac-loving editors in newspapers and magazines in the next few days. The Apple hype machine succeeds because it appeals to them – perhaps even more than the average user.
SIdenote: For some real innovation on where cellphones are going, see what’s happening in Japan.