After all this wait, Starhub has finally come out and say what I dreaded to hear.
Straits Times Nov 5, 2008 – StarHub delays iPhone sale – It will not bring it in this year
STARHUB, which had earlier said that it will have the Apple iPhone 3G in stores by end of the year, will not be bringing it in after all. In a results briefing on Wednesday, StarHub chief executive Terry Clontz said that Singapore’s second largest mobile operator will not be able to bring the gadget in this year.
But the telco is continuing ‘dialogue with Apple’, he said adding, ‘At this particular point in time we cannot be specific when we will have it in our stores… they (Apple) have their priorities signing on distributors.’ This leaves SingTel as the sole iPhone distributor here for now. MobileOne had previously said it was in discussions with Apple, but did not commit to a date.
The iPhone, said Mr Clontz, has created ‘some consternation’ for StarHub. SingTel sold over 20,000 iPhones since its Aug launch, although some estimates put the number at over 60,000. The ‘pent up demand’ for it is not unexpected, said Mr Clontz, although ‘things seemed to return to normal after three to four weeks.’ But StarHub ‘resisted coming to the market with big offers because we believed it (iPhone) would run its course – and it did.’
The company intends to adopt the same defensive strategy this quarter, in light of the economic uncertainties. Mobiles operators usually sweeten their offers during the festive period. While Mr Clontz expects that ‘there will be some promotional activities in Q4, I believe that all operators, not being able to predict how deep the recession will be, will put the brakes on a bit.’
So Mr Clontz, are you experiencing substantial cross-over from StarHub to SingTel because of the iPhone? Is that why there is some consternation? By having not securing the deal with Apple, you WILL definitely feel more when StarHub users who are on the fence will finally not wait and go over to SingTel, especially during this festive period.
Geez, you had a good opportunity to 1) get more NEW customers because of your much better mobile broadband infrastructure 2) get more existing customers to sign new contracts, and yet, decided not to get the iPhone for the exclusive launch and now not delivering what you had said about bringing the phone here by end of this year, to say that I am feeling disappointment is an absolute understatement.
Sparky – go pee and bite your owner’s leg now.