After such a long wait, the phone will be launched this Friday morning – 12.00am to be exact by SingTel. However, I am not getting it. YET. As much as I’d want to get the iPhone, the “packages(SingTel iFlexi plans)”:http://home.singtel.com/singtel/iphone/popup_iflexi.html offered by SingTel are not attractive enough for me to drop Starhub and switch, losing the discounts on the various services I am rewarded for being a Starhub Hubber (Broadband, Cable TV and Mobile).
What irks me is the apparent lack of understanding of how the iPhone will change the usage patterns of people when they start exploring the features and the apps available on the iTune Store.
When the iPhone 3G had its worldwide launch on July 11, much grievances were at the lack of affordable data plans offered by telcos. A classic example would be “Rogers from Canada”:http://www.tuaw.com/2008/06/29/o-canada-consumer-revolt-against-rogers-iphone-tariffs/.
Looks like SingTel does its maths with the same calculator. During launch period, the iFlexi plans offers 1-3GB of bandwidth per month, but this bandwidth will be reduced after the initial launch period.
In TODAY, they explained why they never offer an unlimited data package:
bq. SingTel spokesman said the telco does not see a need to offer a plan with an unlimited amount of data. It is consistent with market offerings. Users are chalking up less than 100MB of data a month. A majority has single-digit usage.
p. Yes that is true in the pre-iPhone era where phones have small screen sizes and most apps had less than stellar performance when hooked onto the net. But with iPhones, just looking at the defaults apps available, being online is one major feature of the iPhone.
Yes there is Wireless@SG but time and time again, the WIFI provided has been sporadic in its uptime. Furthermore, you need to login every time you want to use it (auto-logoff after a short period of inactivity) makes it a pain with the iPhone.
So even though I’ve waited more than a year to get the iPhone, it will not be in my hand come this Friday. I do hope Starhub don’t screw me up by offering a worse deal than what SingTel already had. I will really turn green…