updated 02:45 pm EST, Tue November 4, 2008
SingTel positive on iPhone
SingTel, distributing the iPhone in Singapore, Australia, the Philippines and India, has been hit by reduced profits due to subsidizing the device, affecting Singapore figures by $18 million, and Australian figures by $30.8 million. The company believes that early reductions will pay off over the long term, as iPhone subscriptions expand and incorporate higher-value data plans. According to mocoNews, SingTel is reporting early signs that the average revenue per user (ARPU) for the iPhone is 1.5 times as high as that for the overall postpaid subscriber base, indicating a larger profit opportunity going forward.
The company has sold over 170,000 iPhones since the July launch in Australia, and the August launches in Singapore, the Philippines and India. In Singapore over 30 percent of the iPhone customers were new to the company, and in Australia, this amounted to 55 percent.
America's AT&T and Canada's Rogers are predicting similar trends, with lower profits early on due to subsidies, but positive long-term outlooks. AT&T has reported that over 40 percent of iPhone buyers are new to the company; Rogers reports that 33 percent are new customers, and states that while the large volume of iPhone purchases may put a strain on its numbers, the company expects considerable returns over the length of the three-year iPhone contract, thanks to higher monthly rates and reduced turnover.