Earlier this week, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. scored a deal with Apple, Inc. to market the iPhone in Singapore, and three other countries via their respective SingTel associate operators. The specific operators for each country were named, but a recent comment from a StarHub spokesperson in Singapore indicates that the iPhone could arrive but not on an exclusive deal with any of the telcos.
“We expect all three operators in Singapore to offer the iPhone by the end of the year,” are the strong words expressed by the StarHub spokesperson, although he provides no basis for the said statement. Starhub is also a telco from Singapore, and together with M1 it rounds out the list of three telcos which the 3G iPhone might become available as unlocked in.
Also interesting to note is that Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority does not allow telcos to implement SIM-locking, which is a method to keep a customer using no other wireless service than theirs with purchased phones. If that’s the case, then it would seem impossible for Apple to impose the same procedures obediently followed by the likes of AT&T in the US and O2 in the UK.
This means there is a huge possibility of an unlocked 3G iPhone going on sale, and on three different telcos, nonetheless! And that’s not just for Singapore. Let’s not forget that Australia, India, and the Philippines will also get some Asian iPhone lovin’ very soon. As a matter of fact, India and Australia have already been blessed with multiple carrier sales of the iPhone earlier this month, so the eyes are hot on Singapore and the Philippines right now.
Globe Telecom Inc. is the SingTel associate chosen as the first official iPhone carrier of the Philippines, and a lot of people are wondering if the iPhone will also be offered by the two other telecom giants, Smart Communications Inc. and Sun Cellular some time in the near future. So far, Globe’s only statement on the issue has been a simple, two-sentence press release stating details we already know – that the iPhone will be made available by SingTel in four Asian countries. At least for now.
Right now, details are very hard to come by. We’ll be posting more on this as it develops.
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