The real cost of the iPhone 3G according to Singtel

How much will the iPhone retail in Singapore for exactly?

As the Mac faithful have found out after watching Lord Steve’s WWDC keynote, iPhones will not be sold for more than USD$199 in all countries (in Apple’s own exchange rates) so long they are being sold with data plans and contracts.

Is it really the case?

Why, then, are there news coming from many insiders from Singtel that the iPhone will be sold unsubsidized in Singapore, for a price of $500 to $1000?

Singtel, the strongest mobile operator in Singapore simply because it is “state-owned” (it is privatized, but the major shareholder is Temasek Holdings, which is stated-owned, and is controlled largely by the ruling family in Singapore, the Lee family), is almost definitely the main choice when Apple was looking, many months ago, for a mobile operator to launch the iPhone 3G in Singapore. Furthermore, Singtel, with a large number of subsidaries in Southeast Asia and Australia (Optus Group), will give Apple the benefit of being able to sell to a large number of SEAsian countries while working with just one operator in the region. Which is why it was not surprising when the news broke that Singtel had secured the rights to sell and distribute the iPhone 3G in Singapore, during the Stevenote at WWDC 2008.

Since then, however, there has been a spade of unconfirmed news from a few very trustworthy sources that Singtel will not, as Steve said, sell the iPhone 3G for only USD 199 in Singapore. Instead, these sources claimed, the iPhone 3G will be sold totally unsubsidized, coupled with a contract and a Singtel data plan, and will retail for about 500 to 1000SGD, which makes it around 370USD to 720USD, two to four times the price of the original iPhone 3G.

While there have been news and rumors that other operators such as AT&T will be offering the iPhone 3G unsubsidized and without a contract for a higher price, the case with Singtel has been that they will be selling for a higher price anyway, even with a contract and a data plan. The excuse here seems to be that mobile phones, especially smart phones, are in the range of 1000-1500SGD in Singapore anyway, and according to sources Singtel apparently thought that it makes no business sense to be selling the iPhone that cheap in a country where most people treat mobile phones as a status symbol. Singaporeans are constantly on the lookout for better and more expensive phones to buy, and most Singaporeans change mobile phones on a 6-months basis.

While the majority of this report is based on nothing but unofficial rumors, to most Singaporeans this(iPhones priced at 1000SGD) is definitely a scenario that is highly possible, and while most Singaporeans will cringe at the price set by Singtel, there will still be many of us who will shell out the additional dollars for the iPhone, especially since it is now almost impossible to buy an iPhone from another country without first signing a contract and activating the iPhone, largely stopping all possible illegal hacking by the iPhone jailbreaking community.

Looks like Singtel will be the big winner here.

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  • p|$$edoff

    singtel can sux my big smelly fat dix!

  • i reserved the iphone 3g.
    as singtel said they will bring in on 22 aug. so 5 days left.
    i hope that they dun;t manipulate the prize.

  • jeffbox

    I also reserved an iphone from singtel. but if it's that expensive, I'll cancel and just get a nokia instead.

  • Pingback: Boycott iPhone this friday! *Edited* (Oh Whatever!) at MacRyu - The Worst Mac Blog in Singapore, and Some Say the World()

  • visho

    if this is true no one should buy the i phone……
    at least from singtel

  • chigo


  • abjohn

    Bloody hell .. singtel chargers are as follows…
    iFlexi Value 2 year monthly $56 1GB† 200 mins 500 SMS 8GB = $348 16GB = $508
    iFlexi Plus 2 year monthly $95 2GB† 500 mins 500 SMS 8GB = $49 16GB = $208
    iFlexi Premium 2 year monthly $205 3GB† 1500 mins 1500 SMS 8GB = $0 16GB = $0

    I think they never learn mathematics!
    if you take the first plan 24months x $56 = $1344
    8GB = 1344 + 348 = S$1692
    16GB = 1344 + 508 = S$1852

    US selling 8GB at USD$199 = S$280.99
    Wat a big difference, if you take a normal basic plan from starhub/singtel/m1:
    24months x S$29 = S$696
    If you buy from US, soon sim lim also have = 696 + 280 = S$976!!!! for an 8GB compared to S$1692. How much can you save!!! Rip off man singtel..

  • Come to think of it, Singaporeans buy it for the fashion impact and to make a statement. Quite senseless, really because we should be boycotting the whole thing altogether. I have regretted expressing my interest so early because SingTel is making things worst. **** SingTel, huge disgrace to Singaporean entrepreneurs.

  • nooby2

    Singtel = Fail

  • 1st expression i get from apple introduce iphone3G is, steve going to make more people , which mean those who are not really rich people can own an iphone3G, use it ,learnd it, improve their knowledge ,enjoy the 21 century 3G wireless freedom on their country, so steve saying tht apple going to cut e price into half, so more people(general income people) from earth can use it, own it. but now wat seller do is, most seller just using their own business plan/direction to sell this product(iphone 3G) , and give the reason from their point of view to increase the price of it. can i say something here? can people respect the concept of steve, he is trying to help most people, not let less people earn more ….keep in mind technology is benefit human living, not let human just show off each other, Diamond, gold , sportcar is for showing off, cos a lot highway limit the speed with in 110KM – 130KM, but the sport car can simply top speed up to 300KM per hour(exp: make a farrari hourse power 500,but top speed only 130KM per hour)but sell it over 1 million dollar it is still expensive right( save more life), i like to take photo with sport car when it is park in the parking lot(it still attractive),the diamond is most expensive , so rich people buy it to showing they re rich. sorry if im too young to giving my opinion in public forum.I just wanna telling those who know i mean, my english is poor as you can see, but i still try to deliver my message to STEVE JOBS , hey dude, can u do something, like you can crying your concept idea of improve human living technology is chance into another business , make little people make more money now. thank you for your reading my friend. i fully respect steve jobs giving us iphone, tht is a incredible design, touch touch, enjoy the suft net on our hand, make our brain think big, make us connect each other…in new way…without him, we are still living in the pass,…without him, …we re still fall in love with old design. ..without him, most artist ,designer dun have presure to push himself think better and give human more and more…….new technology….we are still young in earth…are we? now…less facing the true, after read this article, if i buy iphone3G in singtel, my friend will say im stupid cos some1 alr describe how much more i pay in this deal, wat i can do now, i got enough money to buy this phone,and subscribe the singtel iFlexi Plus . but my gf and family is reading this article alr. they know im not a showoff person but electricity lover…but if i buy this now, i bcome 1 of the guy who like to show off ..cos the image to own e iphone3G is not just convenience to suft net anymore ,people will think i like to show off, ….is showing offf.haiz….just hope tmr wake up forget this article , and go straight get a subscribe with singtel get my lovely iphone3G,,,hangout with friend and suft in coffee bean…perhaps my friend do the same, otherwise they will say im showing off, …bad feeling…cos im not really rich.

  • iPhone 3G desperado

    Am a MIO plan's user from SIngtel, has been just reach 1 year for me to upgrade my phone (with recontract T&C), it allows me to get an iPhone3G- 8gb for $718 and16gb for $878.. Still expensive tho… Damn hard feeling when i got to knew US is just selling 199 to 299 USD when i saw Steve's iPhone presentation on Youtube..
    Damn Singtel.. Sigh..

    I heard there are some Turbo SIM tht can unlocked overseas phone in Spore..
    Lets wait.. might can get an overseas iPhone 3G with a cheaper price…?

  • abjohn

    i found it!!!!

    This company is selling unlocked(any sim) 3g iphone @ S$400.. plus shipping!! any buyers??

  • buyer

    what is ur contact number, S$400 is good price for me. can u leave ur msn or gmail …so we can contact u .

  • abjohn

    Contact scott at Tell him that abjohn recommend you so he will give you the free shipping.

  • fandias

    its it really that cheap?
    because its is hard to believe…

  • fandias

    get anyone buy iphone 3G from that abjhon recommend?its it true?

  • kurniawan

    some one sell iphone with reasonable price???


    i totally.. feel like an idiot living in Singapore.
    the gov.. Lee holdings.. ahhh! damn. =/

  • max

    can u add skype and call for free over the wifi in the 3g

  • ryuworks

    You can't add Skype yet, since there is no native version of Skype for the iPhone. One is in the works apparently. For now though, you can get Fring, which is the same thing and supports Skype services, among others. Personally I find Fring much better than skype.

  • Manmathan

    yeah that great ( OR…pls contact….i really wann get it

  • astro_girl

    for now that iPhone how much for 16GB?

  • David

    Hei Ab john is that true the selling iphone?
    Because many people said that he is a scammers?
    Thank you

  • David

    Is it true? Thank you….

  • ryuworks

    Dear all, please take note that I do not support nor have anything to do with any related iPhone sales comments posted on this site. I do not delete comments so long they do not seem to be spam.

  • Brayn James

    Yes,i have confirmed it my self,ibought 2 iphones from the company KBA METRONICS LIMITED and it was delivery to my doorstep for free and i wish others should as well go and see for them selves

    Contact Scott Harry

  • astound francis

    Hello,some people should quit deteriorating peoples business this happened to be a legitimate company dealing on mobile phones and some people who bought from them and had his order delivered to him,make this comment that they are real but some people go ahead saying all sort of thing about them…stop that!!!!

    They are for real!!!!!!!!

  • Brayn James

    Dear,In case you feel you need this item why not just contact them they for real,i have confirmed it.

    Here is their E-malling

  • Brayn James

    Dear,the 16GB cost just $280 including a free shipment

  • Brayn James

    Here their contact E-mail address:

    You can as well add them up in your msn so you can chat up with them.

  • ryuworks

    As stated, I cannot vouch for any of the posters or commenters here. It is safer to just buy from a decent outlet.

  • JML

    ABJOHN you are making a big mistake with your calculation. Singtel is selling Iphone 3g a lot cheaper than ATT is in the US

    in Singapore with the cheapeast plan iFlexivalue (2year contract) + 8gb = $1692

    in USA with AT&T the cheapest Iphone plan is US$70 = SG$102 (2year contract – have to pay extra for SMS as well) + 8gb 3g Iphone at US$199 = SG$290 then the total price is $102 x 24months + 290 which comes to total of SG$2738

    In the US you have to pay roughly SG$1000 MORE to own an iphone under the 2 year contract and it's not even unlocked. in Singapore once your contract is over, you can switch over to Starhub or whatever. In the US must stay with ATT unless you illegally unlock.

    So in conclusion Singtel is being nice so dont complain

  • venkat20

    Nice article about the I-Phone..I Unlocked My Nokia Mobile 1110 model @free of cost in the site Unlock-Free..

  • Sa Tan Lee

    That's the same excuse they give for the car prices here =p *winks* damn capitalists + status-crazed 5 'C's fools = sunny figgin' Singapore

  • ryuworks

    WOw… this is like a damn old article. But it can be applied to their decision to charge customers who want to upgrade to the 3GS 600 dollars as well. Those fucking arseholes. That's why I refuse to buy the 3GS from them.

  • fuckingpasserby

    Who also Know is 500-1000 must give accurate price right idoits

  • dave

    lumia 800!


MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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