The long-awaited iPhone 3G has finally arrived in Thailand, with the third-ranked mobile operator True Move staging a gala launch that drew thousands of people and lots of attention.

     Apple reportedly negotiated for some time to get the iPhone 3G into Thailand, but with the state of the 3G support there, will it matter in the long run?

     But despite its potential appeal in the Thai market, the iPhone 3G has raised some interesting questions., The main one being, how many Thai users can actually take full advantage of it’s rich features, due to spotty 3G coverage and lack of education about the iPhones advantages, and also the lack of heavy data related usage there?

     Besides, given it’s steep price tag, it raises the other question of – Does it really make sense introducing the iPhone 3G into a country where voice calls dominate mobile use as opposed to wifi/data usage? This remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, Apple will be keeping a very close eye on its progress in Thailand to ensure  it benefits them in the long term.

     The biggest obstacle in the success of the iPhone in Thailand, is the fact that the two largest operators, Advanced info Service (AIS) and DTAC, both decided last year to downsize their investments on 3G network development due to the flagging economy and a reduction in consumer spending. This will almost certainly result in a large group of iPhone users lacking a fast, native network that the iPhone 3G needs to shine.

     With all these negative aspects it doesn’t seem like there will be much success, but who knows, maybe the iPhone 3G is just what is needed to make the operators stand up and take note, and hopefully start investing more in a quality 3G network for all the eager iPhone fans in Thailand.


 Sources thanks to iPhonesTalk