Vodafone NZ’s iPhone 3G plans – an exercise in profiteering

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Sticking with my 2G, thanks!

Sticking with my 2G, thanks!

So I’ve been taunting James with this thing since last year, and we’ve both been vaguely interested in picking up the 3G model when it comes out this Friday, July 11 (early birthday presents perhaps!). The iPhone has its fair share of detractors, however coming from an iMate SP5 running Windows Mobile, this device is easily the most lovely, fun and engaging thing I’ve ever owned. I’m not saying it’s the best cellphone ever invented – to each their own for sure; but for me, this has everything I need to keep me going:

  • It syncs with Outlook – contacts, mail and calendars – through iTunes
  • Now all my mail accounts are on Gmail, and it easily gets those over the wire
  • Phonecalls with the supplied earphones are really comfortable
  • Text messages are fun and accessible
  • iTunes, camera, Google maps, Safari, iPod, etc etc
  • ..and I haven’t even tapped Installer.app that much either, so I doubt I’ve scratched the potential of third-party apps

I could go on forever, but there’s no point. I ❤ my iPhone, but this post is not about the phone itself – Vodafone announced their iPhone plans an hour ago, and to my dismay, they’re pricier than expected. The Vodafone site is was currently inaccessible, but Geekzone has a running post on it.

Here’s the gist – you can get one for NZD199 (yay!) but you’ll be held to a 2-year contract at NZD250/month (zomg). This is the biggest plan, which gives you 600 minutes, 600 texts, and 1GB of data. The smallest plan will set you back $80/month for 120 minutes, 600 texts and 250MB of data. 250MB of data is probably equivalent to the size of some of my friends’ Facebook pages – you know who you are! Okay, perhaps not completely relevant as Facebook has an iPhone interface without all of that stuff – my point is (as if it wasn’t obvious enough), you’re not getting much for your money here in NZ.

Compare these plans to the ones offered by Rogers Wireless in Canada: the biggest plan is CAN115/month for 800 weekday minutes, 2GB of data, and 300 text messages. The smallest plan is CAN60/mo for 150 weekday minutes, 400MB of data, and 75 text messages.
 
Here’s the thing, see. Both plans offer unlimited evenings and weekends.

The Canadians are up in arms over these plans, and are considering boycotting the iPhone until prices come down. The Americans considered the original AT&T iPhone plans pretty pricey too. No, don’t look at them, they’ll break your heart.

Well, here in New Zealand, we’ll just be grateful that we have cellphones at all! Surely the luxury of being able to make a phone call when away from your landline is nothing short of sheer wizardry.

I guess I’ll be sticking to my trusty 1st-generation iPhone for now. I guess I can put up with its recessed headphone jack for a bit longer.

Update, 2.37pm: Kiwis have started a petition! Currently 276 signatures and counting. I don’t think I’ve seen the words ‘rip-off’ mentioned so many times on a page.

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2 Responses to “Vodafone NZ’s iPhone 3G plans – an exercise in profiteering”

  1. compie Says:

    Jase,

    the plans stink, but as you know it’s a killer toy and how does one resist the lure of it, the apple glow is bright and I’m mesmerised.

    Maybe I should get one of the O2 phones in the UK and just suck up the roaming charges.

    http://kiwiiphone.wordpress.com/

    seems there’s a bit of a buzz out there.

  2. Jason Says:

    I caught the link to the John Campbell interview tonight off RWW’s short piece: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/vodafone_nz_iphone_3g.php

    The Vodafone spokesperson kept reiterating how there were a range of plans to suit, and that it was a great device. We know it’s a great device, but that’s an Apple merit, and Vodafone are using this as a reason to charge a premium.

    What’s worse, we don’t even get Visual Voicemail, which puts an ‘official’ Vodafone iPhone on the same featureset as the the unlocked ones – except of course, most unlocked phones are also jailbroken, which opens the device to a whole range of third-party apps.

    My advice – when the phone is released, wait to see what the hackers can do with the 2.0 software, then get a plan-free iPhone from the States for about NZD600 and unlock it. Then you can run it on prepay, or any plan you like.

    I’ll be reading the Kiwiiphone blog with much interest!

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