DUBLIN, Ireland--Some of the papers are calling it the 1,200 euro phone.
Apple will bring its iPhone to Ireland on March 14, but the price the company will charge for the phone--particularly when the monthly service contract is added in--is raising eyebrows.
The 8GB iPhone sells for 399 euros (including value-added taxes) while the 16GB version goes for 499 euros. Plus, users need to sign up for service from cellular carrier O2 for 45 euros a month for a minimum of 18 months. The 45 euros per month fee, by the way, is the minimum. After 175 minutes of call time and 100 text messages, the price starts to climb.
Thus, the 8GB phone goes for 1,209 euros, while the 16GB version goes for 1,309 euros. The phones also run on slower, older networks than many other phones.
To put the price in newly devalued U.S. dollars, the 8GB equals about $600 while the 16GB version goes for nearly $760. With service fees, the 8GB sells for $1,834. In England, the 16GB iPhone, when only hardware is considered, sells for about $100 less than in Ireland.
While the price may be steep, there does seem to be a lot of interest swirling around. Chris Armstrong, CEO of PortoMedia, a Galway-based company coming out with a movie download services, loves his iPod Touch, which has the same keyboard. The same goes for Ray Nolan, CEO of Hostelworld, a portal for booking rooms in hostels. I saw a few other people with the iPod Touch at the Irish Software Association's annual conference this week.