Tuesday, June 17, 2008

iPhone 3G - Will It Sell?

The forthcoming 3G iPhone will be a hit in the US, with the new low $199 subsidized price and all, but I wonder if it will be a popular grey-market option here.

The iPhone 1.0 is pretty darn popular here in Vietnam - one sees all ages of local folks pulling it out these days.  Will the  3G be as popular?  Will the 1.0 fall off the list of trendy things to own?

Perhaps the 1.0 phone will retain a higher level of "cool" in Vietnam vis-a-vis the States because of the culture of new (that exists everywhere) is tempered by the culture of expensive here.  With the US price drop, on the grey market here, the 3G phones should cost about 1/2 of what the 1.0 iPhones cost ($850 when it was $499 in the US, about $600 when it came down to $399 and unlocking was less cumbersome).

While newer + cheaper generally means greater demand, sometimes cheaper means less demand here, due to the down market connotations.  Phones like the Vertus and the Mobiado are used here because they make a certain statement.  

It'll be interesting to see how this dynamic will play itself out.  The fact that the 1.0 and the 3G will be visually distinguishable will help one gauge this scenario.      

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