I will also be participating in one of the roundtables. "How online communities can boost the bottom line", and I will be discussing this topic with Hayden Sinclair, (CEO, Jimungo) and Russell Brown (Founder, Public Address)
The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand is promoting Digital Future Now, a full day event with a keynote by Hon. David Cunliffe, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, on "Digital Future Strategy for business – achieving real productivity outcomes".
Full agenda is here, and includes topics such as digital identity, intellectual property law, social networking for businesses, mobile marketing and a roundtable about New Zealand's digital strategy.
Radar is an all day event for Gen-i clients focusing on IT topics that are hot right now and those in the near future – or as they say in the invitation "things to keep on the ‘radar’".
Gen-i and partners Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, HP, IBM, Novell and Websense will showcase the latest ICT trends and how they address key business issues.
These are the keynotes:
- Business trends including Sustainability Challenges, Rod Oram
- Eco Computing, Ecology and Economy, Sun Microsystems
- Business Continuity Management, Ian Clark, Gen-i
- Improving delivery and governance of ICT with ITIL v3, Trevor Hardy, Gen-i
People attending will also have access to 14 trade stands on display during the day.
Buy the way, while at this - I noticed they have a RSS feed for all their latest news, but it's password protected. Fix it please?
Our server survived the 10am rush, while the Vodafone servers crashed hard one minute after Vodafone published the iPhone plans on their site, being inactive for hours.
But Vodafone did not come to the party.
Vodafone could have planned for someone to answer questions on Geekzone. We had 100,000 reads in discussions going more than 30 pages long and not a single word from Vodafone.
Then Kursten Shalfoon, Vodafone NZ GM Products and Services, posted a new discussion with some questions regarding the Vodafone NZ iPhone pricing plans are answered, but advised no one would have time to come around to answer any additional questions.
Bad job done there, overall.
"They have not launched yet" (even though prices are online)
"This phone changes everything, people can connect to the Internet" (even though other devices already do it on their network)
"It costs a lot of money to bring that data down to New Zealand" (even though the data is already there for all the other devices in the network)
Mark even says that it costs a lot to "bring that data down to New Zealand". He forgets to mention most ISPs offer 1 GB for one dollar - but Vodafone is obviously very different. Forget they are providing mobile data. It couldn't cost more than 50 times the fixed line data. Or could it?
Link to 3 News website with the interview is now live.
You will certainly laugh on Vodafone's attempt to justify this joke.
Truth is... You can buy the phone outright, no discounts and use with your choice of plans. It's there in the Vodafone site.
But Vodafone wanted to "hype" and announced the "iPhone from $199". When they finally disclosed the "$199 is with a $250 monthly two year contract" then people got all mad.
Vodafone is getting a lot of attention. More people want to know what's this iPhone. Vodafone says "it connects to the Internet", forgetting the Nokia N95 already in their network has been doing this for months. Some old Windows Mobile devices have been connecting for three or four years.
But they want the hype... And people will buy. Some will be smart and buy full price and get out of a $ 6000 contract. Others will simply sign up for the low allowance contract and won't fully explore the device.
Customers lose, Vodafone wins. Making a fool of themselves to sell. Great move.
What is Vodafone thinking?
Not only because $250 per gigabyte is an absurd amount of money when you can go as low as $1 per gigabyte on fixed plans with the top ISP in the country. Even taking in consideration that this is mobile data, Vodafone really got their heads in the clouds.
According to some calculations, if you buy the cheapest iPhone 3G and add the lowest allowance data plan (250 BM) we are still talking about $2,469.00 over two years. And if you decide that you will use 1 GB then your total price jumps to $6,349.00. Unbelievable.
Vodafone announced yesterday prices would be up on their website 10am today. At 10am their website crashed under the volume of visitors - and even Geekzone got a bit slow withthe number of visitors, and mainly with the number of new comments on this Vodafone iPhone plans being posted.
I am yet to see a happy comment...
UPDATE: Someone is happy and contacted me to make his thoughts known - a bit rude I have to say, but here we go. He thinks this is a great deal... A You Choose 600 plan ($224.95) plus mobile broadband 1 GB plan ($49.95) plus 600 SMS ($12.9). All this for $250 instead of $287.85... So he sees it as a great deal.
I see it as Vodafone not giving their customers options. Why shall customer A get a Choose 600 plan if 600 voice minutes a month is to much? Why not allow mix of voice and data plans? Your money, your choices.
This seems to be only one of the many options and prices will be up on the Vodafone iPhone website from this Tuesday 10am.
Also only three stores will be open from midnight for the iPhone launch: Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. Other stores will have stock and operate in normal hours. You can find which ones on this page.
The agenda looks good and the guest speaker looks like fun. Anyone else from New Zealand attending the event and in San Francisco for drinks and dinner?
Many thanks to our readers who posted questions - and many thanks to these CEOs for taking the time to answer us.
I am working on some other CEOs to be up to the challenge soon.