AFTER a long silence since the Sept 12 launch in the US of the iPhone 5, when Apple promised the device will be available in all countries by yearend, a clear date has finally been set — Dec 14.
For those who can’t wait for the iPhone 5 to arrive on Malaysian shores, Apple said online orders can already be made now for unlocked handsets which can be used on any GSM network with a nano SIM card. Such a nano SIM card is already offered by local telcos.
Apple promises shipping within a week and the iPhone prices start from US$649 (RM1,975) for the 16GB version.
For the 32GB version, the price is US$749 (RM2,280) while the 64GB version goes for US$849 (RM2,580).
When it is made available via local telcos — likely from midnight on Thursday to capitalise the start of the Dec 14 availability date — chances are the iPhone prices may be discounted anywhere from RM200 to RM500 each, based on the subscription packages offered.
This is also the same date that China will get the iPhone 5, Apple had announced on Friday. The statement said the iPhone 5 is already available now in 47 countries — including our neighbours Singapore and Thailand.
The iPhone 5 launch outside the US has been largely delayed because Apple has reportedly been giving focus to meeting Christmas orders and most of these have been locked in with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales earlier last week.
The Cupertino-based firm had also been reportedly facing constraints in the supply of its retina display touchscreens — which was contracted to LG Display, Japan Display and Sharp amid the ongoing patent dispute with its former supplier Samsung of South Korea.
Friday’s announcement dispels such concerns as orders for iPhones locked into various telco networks in the 47 countries could possibly be met.
WHILE China is getting the wifi versions of the iPad 4 and iPad Mini, there is still no word yet on when these devices will be offered with full telco connection in Malaysia.
An industry source said this is probably due to the relatively limited access to the LTE highspeed broadband network here which the Apple devices need to be connected with.
As such, the iPad 4 and iPad Mini devices are also likely to be offered here in the wifi versions too come Dec 7 as with China — though it is unclear yet if they will be launched here in Apple Malaysia stores and authorised retailers on that date.
The iPad with Retina display is priced at the Apple online store from US$499 (RM1,520) for the 16GB version.
The 32GB version retails for US$599 (RM1,820) while the 16GB version goes for US$699 (RM2,125). Only black or white border versions are offered.
The iPad Mini retails for US$329 (RM1,000) and also comes in two extra colours — slate and silver.