iPhone 3G Second International Roll-Out

August 6th, 2008 at 12:00 am

iphone 3g $199 steve jobs keynote wwdc

Two things Steve Jobs was proud of at the WWDC 2008 last June when he unveiled the iPhone 3G to the world was, they’ll be distributing the iPhone in more than 70 countries, and it would only cost $199.

Of course,  there was a catch.  First, the iPhone launched in only 22 countries initially and the $199 price tag is only available for AT&T’s conditions.  Ah, there’s the rub.   The international release is not much of a big deal since we’re only talking about dates.  However, the price tag that Steve Jobs gave the rest of the world is a farce.

$199 is cheap, even with AT&T’s plans, that price tag is still a steal.  But say you don’t want a plan or a 2 year contract, you can always get the iPhone 3G in the US in Apple stores or electronic shops or online, for about $499.  That’s still cheap compared to the first iPhone.

Ok, here’s the thing.  Coming August 22nd, the iPhone 3G will roll out internationally the second time.  This time it goes to 6 countries, all of which Apple has service provider partners in, Romania, Philippines, Hungary, India, Czech Republic and Estonia.  All those countries are poorer than the US or UK or Canada or France or Australia or New Zealand.  But, surprisingly, the iPhone 3G there gets a huge markup up to 200%.

Let’s take the Philippines, where the average worker takes home $200 or less a month.  The iPhone there will cost Php16800 ($416) with a 2 year contract at Php1599 ($40)  per month.  The best part (<-sarcastic) is, if you want to get a iPhone 3G with prepaid plan that doesn’t have a contract, it will cost you a whopping $1000!   Appalling.

With these prices in the Philippines, it looks like Apple is not expecting much from this market.  At those prices, they won’t have anything to compete against LG, Samsung and Nokia iPhone killers that cost half as much for basically the same features.