Mobile plans: New iPhone models to cost more

Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models will also cost more without a mobile plan than their predecessors a year ago. The basic 16GB models will retail at $50 to $70 more.
Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models will also cost more without a mobile plan than their predecessors a year ago. The basic 16GB models will retail at $50 to $70 more.PHOTO: REUTERS

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models, on sale from next Friday, will cost from $10 to $100 more than their predecessors

Apple's new iPhones will be dearer than their predecessors for consumers who buy them under a mobile plan from any of the three telcos here.

Yesterday, Singtel and StarHub released the prices of the latest iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models, which will go on sale here next Friday. Under most of the mobile plans, the new phones will cost between $10 and $100 more than the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus when they were launched last year.

This is consistent with the increased prices of the handsets when sold without a mobile plan.

The basic 16GB model of the iPhone 6s will go for $568 under Singtel's Combo 2 plan. This is $60 more than the 16GB model of the iPhone 6 with the same plan. Under a similarly priced mobile plan by StarHub, the phone will cost $561. M1, which released its prices on Wednesday, will sell the same phone for $570 under its i-Lite+ plan, which last Thursday was raised to $42 a month.

The $1 mobile subscription fee increase is seen across most of M1's mobile plans, although the price of its entry-level $28-a-month plan stays the same.

The price of its premium i-Max+ plan that comes with 13GB of data and unlimited voice calls went up by $20, to $228 a month.

Singtel and StarHub have not adjusted their mobile plan prices.

IDC Asia-Pacific senior market analyst Kiranjeet Kaur said that the pricier phones "will not be construed as an unfair play by telcos since the retail prices of the handsets alone have also gone up".

Without a mobile plan, the basic model of the iPhone 6s will go for $1,048, which is $50 more than its predecessor.

The basic iPhone 6s Plus model will cost $1,218, or $70 more than the basic 6 Plus model.

The Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are heavier than their predecessors despite having the same display size and design. The iPhone 6s comes in at 143g, 14g heavier, and the iPhone 6s Plus at 192g, 20g heavier.

But the heavier form factor is also not expected to deter buying.

"I would expect most people to prefer the 3D Touch Display over the few grams difference," said Ms Kaur.

The new feature lets the devices support new gestures that are based on pressure as well as touch.

IT consultant Nigel Tan, 28, is not deterred by the price increase, and is eyeing the rose gold edition of the 6s Plus.

"I want to enjoy the new features and better hardware," said Mr Tan, adding that he plans to sell his current 6 Plus model to defray the cost of upgrading.

Those who did not register their interest in the new models with M1 by last Monday's closing date can walk into any M1 shop to buy the phone from next Saturday.

StarHub closed its registration of interest on Wednesday, but will accept walk-in purchases from next Saturday. Singtel said its registration of interest started on Tuesday and will end soon but did not give a date.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2015, with the headline 'Mobile plans: New iPhone models to cost more'. Print Edition | Subscribe