Starhub NOT going to bring iPhone in this year

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.

"Yes We Can" – Obama

Thats what the screen on my iMac on US Election Day
That's what the screen on my iMac on US Election Day

Barrack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America. I hope that he will really make the changes that will bring improvements to the USA and the rest of the world.

The portion of the speech that was inspring:

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Read transcript of Obama’s acceptance speech

Apple's Singapore iTunes Store – you charging US$?

I got the iPod Touch couple of days back and started grabbing apps from Singapore’s iTunes AppStore, the same one that I switched over from the US account. The main reason why I switched over to the SG account is so I can use my credit card to purchase instead of the round-about way of getting iTunes Gift Cards. Another reason is that with the SG AppStore, we assumed that the pricing will be Singapore Dollars and thus we won’t be affected by any changes in the exchange rate.

Boy did I assume wrongly.

Here’s an example of an app listed on the SG AppStore

Note the pricing. At no part of the store page were there any mention of pricing or currency, not even on the Store Terms and Conditions Page.

Likewise the receipt that one received from Apple

So when I checked my credit card bill today, I found that I was charged US$2.99 instead of SG$, incurring the final cost of S$4.50.

Though the price is not high, Apple should be more forthright in how the pricing is displayed on the AppStore and also on the receipts that they sent out. They need to know that their customers are NOT just from the USA!

A quick look around various stores in different countries around the region are all like SG, just have the $ in front of the price, whereas in UK and France, they are using UK Pounds and Euros respectively.

I am actually quite surprised no one actually made any noise about it. Imagine the shock when someone’s parent look at their CC bill to find tons of US$ billings for apps bought by their kids!

Called Apple earlier and all they can say is that they are in US$ and will be switched to the SG$ in the future. And that was after a few minutes of discussion with his colleagues. For surprising was that in HWZ, a user there posted an email he received from a Apple rep that stated that:

Each country as its own currency. Only the US Store is in US currency. Your Singapore Store with be in Singapore currency.

So is Apple pulling a fast one on their customers around the world with this pricing display?