Bangkok Diary Friday 26 December 2008: Thailand iPhone Pricing - Some Comparisons
I have been looking at the pricing of the iPhone as advertised by True in Thailand and I have been trying to estimate the costs for the device. As in other countries, the iPhone is linked to a provider -- in this case True -- and everyone has to sign up for a 24-month plan. The figures below are rough and ready but can give an indication of what the device may cost.
With the Bronze service, the 8G phone will cost 28,776 baht plus the phone: a total of 35,775 baht over the period. The 16G iPhone comes 39,275 with the same fees for the two-year period. My current monthly charges with DTAC, one of the other major providers in Thailand, are 300 baht per month.
Using the same process, the Gold service is 40,776 and 43,176 which comes to cost of 33777 or 32677 baht for 8 and 16G phones for the two years. Platinum is 47976 and 50376. This is 40977 or 39877 for 8 and 16G phones respectively. Although I am not brilliant at Maths, I have double-checked the calculations.
Similarly the Gold, with its 200 minutes (300 baht/7200 baht) reduces the overall cost to 1,399 baht for the 8G Phone per month; or 1,499 baht for 16G: close the the Silver.
The Platinum service has 300 minutes call time included, so this equals 450 baht, or 10,800 baht over the 2 years (more than the 16G iPhone). The charges may then be reduced to 1549 and 1649 baht for 8G and 16G for each month. That still comes to 37176 and 39576 baht. Take the iPhone cost off that and we have figures of 30,177 and 29,077 baht: and 1,257 and 1,211 baht per month for the Platinum service.
Bearing in mind the current costs of post-paid services in Thailand, and the highly competitive nature of the mobile phone business, these fees are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but are not excessive, particularly when one notes that the calculations here take no account of the other facilities: SMS, EDGE et al and Wifi.
In addition, despite their being plans for this in legislation here, it is still not possible to transfer a mobile phone number to another service, so if your telephone number has been circulating for a while, you either have to run two or let everyone know (not always possible) or run the first as a forwarding service and eventually hope that everyone catches on.
The True support pages also provide a telephone number (082-000-3333) should it be needed. They were slow to answer (busy?), but the information provided was helpful and polite.
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