(UPDATE, May 16, 2016: Globe Telecom is now offering the iPhone SE for P1,499 per month (Plan 1299 plus a P200 monthly fee for 24 months). Plan 1299 comes with 3GB monthly data allowance, unlimited texts to all networks and free calls to Globe or TM numbers.)
In case you haven’t heard yet, there’s a new iPhone in town, and it’s available on retail in the Philippines. Apple’s newer and smaller iPhone, the iPhone SE, can now be purchased from the local online Apple Store.
But although the iPhone SE’s 4-inch screen and rehashed design from three generations ago may lead you to think it’s far cheaper than the next better iPhone out there, this is hardly the case in the Philippines.
The base model of the SE officially sells for P23,590 locally, whereas the same unit costs $400 (around P18,650) in the U.S. There’s an even wider pricing discrepancy for the top-end variant of the smaller iPhone. Those markups are a drag, especially since the SE is meant to appeal to those who don’t want to spend too much money on new technology.
That the latest iPhone costs more in a tough and price-sensitive market like the Philippines flies in the face of logic. But unless Apple decides to rethink its pricing strategy outside its home turf, we can only wait and see how consumers respond to it.
Which brings us to today’s topic: Where else could you get the iPhone SE in the Philippines, possibly at a cheaper cost?
Telecom giant Smart Communications will begin selling the SE from May 26th under still-undisclosed data plans.
Matching the SE with a data plan can subsidize the full cost of the handset in exchange for a two-year contract. If you don’t mind having a long-term relationship with one carrier and losing the benefits of an unlocked smartphone, you can register your interest by visiting this page.
Smart’s rival, Globe Telecom, has yet to reveal retail plans for the SE, though our source says to expect an announcement “soon.”
Authorized Apple resellers Power Mac Center and Beyond the Box remain mum on how much the iPhone SE will cost when it hits their retail locations, but expect pricing to be similar to that of the local Apple Store.
Lazada’s Philippine website lists both 16GB and 64GB models, but pricing varies from seller to seller. P24,000 is the lowest price we’ve seen for the 16GB iPhone SE.