Apple's iPhone 6S may be the priciest smartphone made

Apple CEO Tim Cook introducing the iPhone 6S on September 9, 2015. Apple sold 13 million of its new devices in 9 markets, and plans to open up to 40 more.
PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Apple's iPhone 6S series, which goes on sale Friday in Taiwan, could be the most expensive ever.

Taiwan's leading mobile carriers unveiled their price plans for Apple's latest launch yesterday.

The offerings look similar: for contracts starting at NT$1,300 (S$57) a month, the iPhone 6S is available at around NT$9,900.

For an iPhone 6S that costs nothing up front, customers must shell out for a new 24- to 30-month contract that is priced at least NT$2,599 a month.

Already at a premium price point in US dollar terms, the latest iPhone is even pricier on a weak New Taiwan dollar, which slid to a six-year low last month.

In the third quarter, Asian currencies put up their worst performance in over a decade on China's surprise devaluation of the yuan in August and market uncertainty over a US interest-rate increase.

Lin Kuo-feng, vice president of Chunghwa Telecom Co., said current exchange rates have pushed the cost to import the phones to a record high.

Chunghwa Telecom Co. is offering a NT$0 iPhone 6S 16G for a hefty 24-month, NT$2,636/month contract.

There are no 12-month pricing plans by mobile carriers that offer a zero-cost phone, and on-contract smartphone prices are up about NT$3,000 across the board.

On a 30-month, NT$1,336/month plan, the iPhone 6S 64 GB costs NT$13,900 up front - NT$3,500 more compared to its predecessor.

Taiwan Mobile Co., Taiwan's No. 2 mobile carrier, is among the several networks offering an upgrade plan.

Based on the programme, subscribers pay NT$258 per month in exchange for a 12-month hardware protection plan and an early iPhone upgrade.

Taiwan Mobile is offering the NT$0 iPhone 6S 16G on a 24-month contract at NT$2,599 per month, a comparatively competitive plan.

Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. Ltd., Taiwan's No. 3, has priced its iPhone 6S 16G at NT$0 for a 24-month contract at NT$2,699 per month.

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