Before we start with the analysis let's take a look at the pricing available on Digi and Maxis website, and bear in mind the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) for iPhone4 at RM2,690 for 32GB and RM2,290 for 16GB
iDigi Postpaid Plan
Maxis iValue Plan
Both of the company take different approach to entice customers, Maxis going old school doing what they are familiar with and Digi attempting to alter the rules of game.
This round, Digi take a bold move tailored a plan for iPhone4 and discontinued their iPhone3 plans. The prices of the phones are fixed, 32GB for RM2,490 and 16GB for RM2,090 both RM200 lesser then the RRP. Plucking figures from the sky, they created iDigi 88, iDigi 138 and iDigi 238 with commitment fee of RM63, RM93 and RM168 respectively. They claim that you are getting a great saving because of their low promotion monthly commitment charges claiming that your phone will cost only a petty sum for you. Come to think of it I wonder how Digi and Maxis arrive at the RRP. Great thinking on their side, seriously plucking an imaginative figures and claiming that you saved on some money? That's genius! If you're actually excited because of the savings, let me just say please DON'T use any other smartphone other then iPhone, no offence, you're not gonna be smart enough to fully utilize your smartphone so at least get one that make you look cool, or at least those Apple fanboy will think that you're cool.
As for Maxis, they are doing the same old stuff, offering the phone base on the current plan that they are having. Not like it's a bad idea, just pretty boring. Of course with more monthly commitment, your phone will cost lesser. The plan is plain and simple. Not much explanation needed I guess?
Now what makes all the difference between the two plans?
Digi offer their phone at a higher price, but comes with cheaper (and better) plan, whereas Maxis differentiate the price of the phone according to the plan that you sign up.
Now I must say that Digi is always a smart company, with their smart tagline and marketing gimmicks. The strength of their plan lies in the low ownership cost with a 24months contract, higher data usage limit and some perks. Call rate wise, the two are matching each other with 15cents, 12 cents and 10 cents respectively.
Let's compare an Apple to an Apple in the following illustration, say 32GB iPhone4 with 24 months contract (since Digi din't offer a 12 months contract).
We will use iDigi138 to compare with Maxis iValue 2
- Monthly fee - Digi is offering their plan at RM93 and Maxis at RM155, I'll give a big yes for lower monthly commitment, and mind you it's a RM62 difference!
- Cost of Ownership - Digi's cost of ownership will be RM4,722 (RM93 x 24 months + RM2,490) and for Maxis it will be RM5,110 (RM155 x 24months + RM1,390).
Removing the "I'm saving RMXXX" gimmick from Digi, they are still offering a much attractive package overall. Given that you don't mind a 24 months contract! Now, WHAT IF, iPhone5 is launched in 1.5 years time, are you willing to pay the penalty and switch to iPhone5 or are you going to wait patiently until your contract ends? The flexibility of the contract become a main concern, so let's review the cost of ownership again IF you are taking a one year contract with Maxis for the same phone.
- Maxis Cost of Ownership - For one year contract, your cost of ownership will be RM3,250 (RM155 x 12months + RM1,890)
Now officially there are no one year contract for Digi, so the nearest comparison will be to sign up for a 2 years contract and TERMINATE IT! Of course paying the penalty for breach of contract, which is RM400, which is why you should always think twice before entering into a contract.
- Digi Cost of Ownership - For one year contract, your cost of ownership will be RM4,006 (RM93 x 12months + RM2,490 + RM400)
Although cost of ownership is seriously not a big deal, I wouldn't calculate that far if I'm buying a phone. It's more about HOW MUCH do I need to pay to lay my hand on my new toy? Timing of transaction is very important in business so let's see who's taking more money out of their pocket to get their new toy.
Again taking a 24 months contract of iDigi 138 and Maxis iValue 2 so comparison can be easily made. Now here's the catch for Maxis offering their phone at a lower price in fine print (well not exactly printed but you get the idea)
*** Prepayment of monthly fee is required for iValue 1, 2, 3 & 4 which will be credited equally over your first 5 months. Prepayment of monthly fee are as follows:
- iValue 1 – RM400 for 24 months contract, RM200 for 12 months contract
- iValue 2 – RM620 for 24 months contract, RM200 for 12 months contract
- iValue 3 – RM1250 for 24 months contract, RM500 for 12 months contract
- iValue 4 – RM2000 for 24 months contract, RM1000 for 12 months contract
Now if you're taking a 24 months contract for iValue 2 you'll need to put up an extra RM620 as prepayment for the commitment fee and they will divide it into 5 months as rebate for your phone bill. So this is the payment schedule for the two plans
So although with lower cost of ownership over 24 months time, you will need to cough up an extra RM480 to get an iPhone from Digi. I've provided the analysis needed so you wouldn't need to crunch the numbers yourself, however ultimatum is on you. If you don't mind coughing up some extra dough and be bound by a 2 years contract on an obviously great plan (you might want to switch to other plan after the promotion period, but come to think of it RM138 is still a better deal compare to RM155 right?), go Digi! Else Maxis is your only viable choice. Say if you're using a HTC Desire, HTC Desire HD or Google Nexus One, and considering switching to iPhone, you just found an interested buyer here! Leave me your comments and let's get private.
Alas, to be very bias if you're considering buying an iPhone4, go Digi, you definitely have extra money on hand now, you obviously aren't that good at making financial choices and probably all you care about is to look good. So why confused yourself with the prepayment, rebate, different phone price offered by Maxis anyway? You're a simpleton that want to look good right? So what's better than using a telco that proudly acclaim that they are "Simply the smarter choice"?