Belgian iPhone Fans Burdened by Heavy Price

Dennis Faas's picture

More than anything, it is the price of the new iPhone 3G that has bloggers, news agencies, and consumers in a tizzy.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about the price breakdown of the new phone and how Apple can afford to sell it for less than the old iPhone. Among other things, this is because service providers, namely AT&T in the United States, undercut much of the cost of the original device. (Source:

What some lucky North Americans don't realize is that not all citizens of the world benefit from such a sweet deal. Take the Belgians. They are paying more than anyone else in the world for the newest Apple gadget, around $950. The reason? Unlike most countries, Belgium has a "local law that forbids companies subsidizing one product by charging more for something else." Thus, while the Dutch can buy an iPhone for $1.57 (with a long contract), their neighbours have to pay nearly a grand for the same item. (Source:

By way of comparison, the Japanese pay $300, Mexicans $65, New Zealanders pay $500 (all prices include rate plans).

Interestingly, Canadian national The Globe and Mail reports that Mobistar, the Belgian wireless phone company distributing the iPhone, isn't phased by the price. In fact, quite the opposite is true. It predicts that consumers will still be lined up at stores, just as they have been in every country in the world. They have even set a one-per-customer-limit. (Source:

If you're like me and don't quite understand iPhone mania, you'll be interested to see what the sales statistics in Belgium are after the opening weekend. I admit, I love my MacBook, but I wouldn't tie myself to a 3 year contract worth about $70 a month just for a nice phone. At least my computer was a one-stop payment. Good luck Belgians, I hope it's worth it.

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