The iPhone 4 on Movistar was just released in Buenos Aires today!
Currently, it is only available from certain Carrefour locations and Falabella at Unicenter. In fact, both stores took out full page ads in today’s paper to publicize it’s release. It’s so new, even Movistar’s web site does not yet make any mention of its availability.
The cost at both stores is AR $2399 for the 16GB version and AR $3299 for the 32GB version, which also requires a new 12 month Movistar contract. The lowest iPhone plan from Movistar is AR $189 per month and includes 300 free minutes to Movistar and fixed lines, 300 minutes to other mobile numbers, 4 free Movistar numbers with up to 3000 minutes of calling, 200 SMS and unlimited Internet.
The Carrefour ad listed that they only had ten units total, while the Falabella ad listed that they had twenty 32GB iPhone 4s and seventy 16GB iPhone 4s. Fearing I would already be too late to get one, we rushed over to the Carrefour on Libertador and General Paz around 2pm and were, surprisingly, the first people to buy one (this location had two 16GB and one 32GB model in stock). Laura thought I was a bit crazy and reminded me that this was not New York, but still I had expected some lines. (The release of the iPad in Argentina a couple of weeks ago generated a lot of attention and lines.)
Unfortunately, the iPhone 4 is only sold with a 12 month contract, so getting one is out for most expats as a DNI and permanent residency are required for these contracts. As I only have temporary residency, I had to have Laura sign up for a plan in her name. It’s nice to finally be done with the costly pre-pago Movistar service and be on a regular monthly plan.
The other good news is that since older electronics tend to hold their value well here, we can now sell our jailbroken and unlocked iPhone 3GS. We should be able to get almost the same price as we paid for the new iPhone 4.
UPDATE (26.9.10) – It appears that Claro and Personal also have the iPhone 4 now and are advertising it on the home page of their web sites. Movistar has this page for the iPhone 4 which is not linked from their site yet.
UPDATE (27.9.10) – FaceTime is not currently working with Movistar in Argentina either. This is really disappointing as this was one of the main reasons for getting the iPhone 4. If you go to Settings -> Phone and turn FaceTime on, you’ll get the message “Waiting for activation…” This appears to be a problem with Movistar needing to issue a carrier update which apparently has not been done yet.
I sent a tweet to @movistararg and am waiting for a response. Send one too if you have this problem.