StarHub – BT

StarHub to sell iPhone within 2 months

THE iPhone will no longer be a differentiating factor for local telcos as StarHub becomes the last operator in Singapore to take a bite at Apple’s coveted handset.

The touch-screen gizmo that launched a thousand queues globally will go on sale at StarHub shops within two months, after the operator said yesterday that it too has clinched re-seller rights for the device.

This comes after a similar announcement by rival MobileOne last month.

Like M1, StarHub said that it will only reveal pricing closer to the handset’s launch date.

These two deals were sealed after almost two years of stop-start negotiations with Apple that harked back to the second half of 2007 following the first iPhone’s debut in the United States.

SingTel was eventually given first shot at selling the follow-up model – the iPhone 3G – in Singapore in August 2008. The exclusive arrangement was extended to the latest version – the iPhone 3GS – this July.

Consumers now pay nothing to $678 for an iPhone at SingTel, depending on their subscription plan. However, with two more telcos in the picture, prices are expected to drop across the board to reflect the new market dynamics later this year.

As previously reported by BT, StarHub and M1 continued their talks with Apple despite the SingTel victory, but an agreement could be not reached earlier due to disagreements over thorny issues such as revenue sharing and subsidies.

However, market watchers said that Apple is now more willing to concede middle ground to meet aggressive iPhone sales targets.

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