"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.
If this even goes like the ones in Wellington and Auckland it will be a success! It is Thursday only and we know of some people from Auckland who are already in Christchurch (or rather they flew in this morning, got a car to visit Queenstown and back Saturday). Some of the Wellington people are flying this Friday too, so I am sure everyone will be ready for a weekend of fun with the local Geekzone users.
Again, we couldn't do it without the help of our sponsors, so here is the list... Make sure you visit their websites to see what they are up to:
Pizza: Jobx is sponsoring the pizza.
Drinks: IT Maniacs and OnlineGroups.Net are contributing towards the drinks.
McAfee is giving us three copies of McAfee 2008 Total Protection.
Microsoft NZ is giving us three copies of Windows Live OneCare and one copy of Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1.
Quay Corp is giving us a Targus laptop bag to giveaway during the event.
PC Gear is giving us a Logitech G15 keyboard, two Kingston 2GB Data Traveler USB drive, and Ages of Empires 3 Gold Edition (including War Chiefs expansion).
Snap Internert will be present and giving two Internet Packs (Linksys WAG54G router plus six months Snap Advanced ADSL)*.
Symantec is giving us a copy of Norton Internet Security 2008 and Norton Antivirus 2008.
The big prize for the evening will be a Xbox 360 courtesy of PC Gear. To get the winner started Microsoft NZ is throwing some games: Mass Effect, PGR 4 and Viva Pinata Party Animals.
Although this event is fully booked, we still have some space left for the Geekzone Pizza Evening Hastings - and yes a lot of people are flying up to the Hawkes Bay for that one too!
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.
Here it is, the correct one: AMD Tech Day 2008 Summary.
The good stuff? Their cabin manager now comes around the Air New Zealand Koru Lounges before boarding for international flights, introduces him/herself and even come back later to take us to the plane.
The bad stuff? Their loyalty program actually is everything but about loyalty.
For example I had a ticket Auckland - Los Angeles - Wellington. The electronic ticket was issued in Premium Economy but I used some of my upgrades to use the business class. Great stuff, all worked well so far.
Once I landed in Los Angeles I took another flight to Austin and back. The flight back from Austin to Los Angeles was with US Airways, a Star Alliance partner. As such I entered my Air New Zealand Airpoints number to claim some points. What a mistake!
You see, even though these tickets were not issued by Air New Zealand and not even in the same booking, Air New Zealand automatically reverted the 130 points I earned for each of the long haul flights and credited me with less points.
They say that if any Star Alliance flight is taken during 30 days of my Air New Zealand flights and if they decide these Star Alliance flights are part of my original journey, they will give me less points - less points on a full fare Air New Zealand ticket issued in separate!
Now the kick in my low area: Air New Zealand reduced the points by more than the Star Alliance points they gave me for the other flights. Which means these points will make it harder for me to keep my Gold status or go down to Silver status.
This, with the fact that cheaper domestic fares receive zero points is just another example of how Air New Zealand wants to destroy loyalty.
What a shame.