3G iPhone now in Malaysia – Finally!


iphone-3gAfter many months of speculation if Apple was going to work with Maxis or Celcom, we now find Maxis offering this from today onwards.  This is official and who knows, maybe Celcom might be next but for now, Maxis it is!

The 3G iPhone plan is also interesting and I’ve also gone to the shops to check out the parallel imported AP set 3G iPhones.  Let’s see which options are worth it.

For the basis of our comparison, the shop I went to this evening was selling the AP sets of 8GB 3G iPhone for RM2,550 and 16GB for RM2950.

Let’s look at how that fares with the Maxis plan (read here for the full plan and terms).

maxis-iphone-plan

Check out the Terms and Conditions as well.  Interestingly, there is no penalty clearly stated for terminating the contract earlier.  At least, there isn’t any such clauses clearly stated in any of the documentation available.  Obviously, Maxis isn’t going to worry too much about going after users who are going to break their contract but I’m sure there must be some fine print penalty clauses printed somewhere.

So, is there a catch?  The only way Maxis can hold you is the Advance Payment that will be reimbursed to you over the first 5 months and to ensure that you are not delinquent in paying your bills.  If you are already a Maxis plan customer for more than 6 months, they reward you by not asking for an Advance Payment.  That is, unless Maxis will bother to come after you legally.  Check their penalty clause which is not available at the website.

If you look at the plan carefully, we can safely tell the cost of the iPhone is around RM2,000 such that Maxis will hold up to that amount per customer at the first month.  If there are fraudulent customers who intend to buy the special rate and run away, Maxis will have at least RM2,000 in hand that will offset the loss.

Apart from this, if you are already a postpaid customer and spending at least RM250 a month, you are the target customer that Maxis is looking for.  You have the best deal for the 12 month plan (RM1,490 for 8GB) and an even better deal for the 24 month plan (RM680 for 8GB).  Double check the penalty clause and understand the commitment you are getting into.

Perhaps, this is the way Maxis is trying to reward loyal customers who are spending a lot with them.  Since the iPhone fad is catching on in Malaysia, Maxis wants to reward their high ARPU customers with an iPhone .

This plan is not the all-you-can-eat Data Plan either.  It comes with 500MB all the way to 3GB with regular calls and sms available.  The amount of data transfer will be more than enough at 500MB to 1GB if you are looking at push email or even browsing.  Since the iPhone doesn’t allow you to use it as a 3G modem, you won’t be using your notebook attached to your iPhone anyway.  Again, the RM250 per month commitment plan is the most optimum if you actually consume that much or more.

I’m certainly going to check this out with Maxis tomorrow and see if the penalty clause will deter me from getting the iPhone.

More updates later!  For now, it’s worth a serious look at Maxis RM250 commitment plans for either 12 or 24 months and not get the AP unit unless you want to run the risk of no warranty.

This iPhone plan is great for Maxis loyal customers, not too great for new customers because Maxis is not going to take the risk upfront with them but once the loyalty is displayed over the next 5 months, it’s still worth the try.  You will get back the Advance Payment by 5 months and Maxis hopes you will continue the plan for a while and not stop.  So don’t think about making money off the Maxis plan either.  You are stuck for at least a year if you want to enjoy the special iPhone prices.

However, if you want to continue using Celcom and their data plan, there is no choice but to consider the AP set at RM2,550 for 8GB model.

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