updated 10:35 am EST, Fri November 21, 2008
Hami for Taiwanese iPhone
A new service package announced for the Taiwanese iPhone may suggest that Apple is allowing more freedom when it comes to carrier personalization. Local carrier Chunghwa Telecom has revealed the existence of Hami, a set of free services intended specifically for iPhone owners. People will have access to 11 services in total, including special news, weather and stock market trackers, as well as audio, video and images custom-produced solely for Hami. It is unclear whether Hami will be delivered via the web or as a custom app download.
The existence of Hami may suggest that Apple has taken a softer stance on carrier customization, or has at least never objected strongly to certain forms of it. Apple has refused to let carriers make any modifications to the iPhone interface, or provide any services which could compete with those built into the device, such as music downloads. Companies may have found a workaround, however, in the form of more generic services added on later, such as TeliaSonera's MMS app.
Although Chunghwa has not announced prices for the iPhone, it is now rumored that an 8GB model could be offered for free with a two-year contract, and that a 16GB model could cost the equivalent of $90. Similar fees are said to be common in Taiwan, but may not include any free calling or a data bundle.