Monday October 4, 2010
iPhone 4 launched by Maxis, DiGi; but which has better plans for subscribers?
By LEONG HUNG YEE
PETALING JAYA: Hundreds of buyers queued for hours to get their hands on the newly launched iPhone 4 when it was up for grabs last week. Both Maxis Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd launched Apple’s latest iPhone 4 last week.
Plenty of employees and security personnel were deployed to keep order as long queues formed outside a grand ballroom where Maxis Bhd launched the iPhone 4 at the strike of midnight.
Some arrived up to six hours before the official event, which started at 9pm and by 10.30pm the queue was so long that it almost reach the exit of the mall’s carpark. The foyer was packed to the brim restricting movements at the area.
It was rather a surprise to see a big turnout at both events by Maxis and DiGi given the well publicised antenna attenuation issue.
The iPhone 4 features FaceTime for video calling and new retina display – the highest resolution display ever built in a phone – resulting in super crisp text, images and video.
The iPhone 4 also features a five-megapixel camera with LED flash, high-definition video recording and up to 40% longer talk time.
Jenny Teo, 28, queued for more than eight hours to get hold of the latest gadget. She rushed from her office in KLCC to Mid Valley and got her number around 5pm. Teo could only manage to get her brand new phone after 1am.
She said she did not mind the long wait as long as she could get the latest gadget.
Teo, a first-time iPhone user, said she had been waiting for the phone ever since it was launched in the United States in the middle of the year.
Teo said she was attracted more by the “cool” aura that iPhones conveyed than the technology itself.
Another iPhone 4 owner David Tan said he bought the phone because it was cool. Tan bought the iPhone 4 for his wife but since he had been using it more than her, he planned to get another one.
He admitted that not everyone would want or needed an iPhone 4.
Although no official data were disclosed by both carriers, DiGi had some 30,000 people registering their interest in the product while the response was also said to be strong for Maxis.
The iPhone 4 comes with iOS 4, the newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.
The two telcos have different pricing strategies to attract subscribers. With the plans revealed, the question is ... which one is cheaper and offers better value for money?
Maxis is offering higher handphone subsidies but more expensive plans.
DiGi, on the other hand, has offered minimum subsidies but is offering subscribers much cheaper plans.
Maxis subscriber can get a free iPhone 4 16GB and 32GB if they sign up for the iValue 4 plan (RM375 per month) for a 24-month contract.
For the cheapest monthly commitment of RM100 for iValue 1, subscribers pay RM1,990 for iPhone 4 32GB and RM1,690 for a iPhone 4 16GB on a 12-month contract.
DiGi is currently offering iPhone 4 32GB for RM2,490 and the iPhone 4 16GB for RM2,090, both for 24-month contracts. The cheapest monthly commitment is RM63 and if subscribers opt for auto billing, they need to pay only RM58.
The comparison is only based on face value. Of course, all the plans come with different voice-call minutes, free and bundled Internet.
However, DiGi’s plans are tied with a 24-month contract. Maxis is the choice if subscribers do not wish to be tied for too long.
DiGi is reported to be offering non-contract iPhone 4 next month.
So who is the clear-cut winner?