Monday, July 14, 2008

iPhone 3G & AT&T

On the 11 July, iPhone 3G was released in the US and other selected countries. I was too busy with organising Photon for Photosoc and piano concert that I didn't have time to keep track of the happenings in Apple world.

I don't know much about how the procedure went, but I've read stories which said the fastest it took to activate the iPhone 3G onto AT&T's network was half-an-hour! Now that's a freaking long wait, since activation is mandatory upon purchase, unlike through iTunes at your own timing as with the first phone. I will not want to stand in queue for the whole day just for an iPhone 3G!

But this brings me to my point, that the single weakest link with the iPhone does not lie with Apple: it is with AT&T! The new phone promises superior internet connection speeds with 3G, but the irony is that most people will not get that 3G in the US because AT&T's 3G network coverage is so darn pathetic! In other words, people are duped into thinking they will get 3G just because it is named iPhone 3G. Another misbelief that many have is that owning iPhone 3G will be cheaper. That's absolute baloney. Yes, the upfront payment sum is indeed less, but the monthly bill will be on average more than before, so overall, you pay more. This is a matter of perception: people perceive that something is cheaper because you fork out less at the store upon purchase, but few consider about the long term cost. Nonetheless, it's a good marketing gimmick.

Well at least I'm thankful that this is in US and not Singapore. But things won't be any better here I think. Yes, we should get 3G in most places when it arrives, but I assure you Singtel will sell the iPhone at a hefty price tag, because unlike AT&T, they will not subsidise the cost of the phone. So for me personally, I take on an ambivalent attitude to the arrival of iPhone in Singapore.

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