Do you remember that the iPhone 4 8GB was supposed to be a cheaper model, launched alongside the iPhone 4S? Well, it seems that Brazilian operators didn’t pay attention to Tim Cook.

Indeed, carriers Vivo and TIM just started selling the iPhone 4 8GB in Brazil for a whopping R$1,799 (US$970) without a data plan, readers of the Brazilian site MacMagazine report:

iPhone 4 8GB Brazil 520x674 The iPhone 4 8GB launches in Brazil, but wait until you see the price tag

As for their competitor Claro, it only does slightly better with a Rs$1,650 price tag (US$888).

In other words, despite its limited storage capacities, the 8GB model is as expensive in Brazil as the former 16GB model that was removed from the market.

While subscriptions make smartphone prices go down dramatically in most countries, it is not the case there either; at Claro, subscribers will have to pay no less than R$270 per month (US$145) to get their phone for free.

According to the Brazilian site Blog do iPhone, this means Brazil has the most expensive iPhone 4 8GB in the world. Even in India, where customers have complained of inflated prices, it “only” sells for US$740 (see our post).

As for the iPhone 4S, it’s not available yet in the country, although carriers Claro, TIM and Oi have now confirmed they’re ready for its launch.

These new models have started showing up on Brazilian shelves only a few days after new pictures of iPhones made in Brazil have leaked:

iPhone made in Brazil 520x461 The iPhone 4 8GB launches in Brazil, but wait until you see the price tagTaken by a reader of MacMagazine, the picture shows a white iPhone with the mention “Industria Brasileira”: “Brazilian Industry”, confirming information published in October by Gizmodo Brasil.

That said, there’s absolutely no proof that any of the iPhone 4 8GB models currently on sale have been manufactured in Foxconn’s Brazilian factory in Jundiai.

This means there’s still hope for Brazilian customers that prices may go down when the official launch takes place; for now, they may be better off postponing their purchase.