adamgifford
Friday, July 25, 2008
  Cutting Vodafone down to size
Published NZ Herald July 23, 2008

Got your new iPhone yet? Want one of those slim and shiny rectangles?

You can't have missed out on the marketing, and the marketing within the marketing.

What other cellphone has been launched with such hoopla? When did Nokia or Sony-Ericsson or Samsung or Motorola have people camping out on the winter streets - even if they were put up to it by people marketing other products or services?

It's not hurting the Apple brand and it's not hurting Vodafone New Zealand which has an exclusive on the 3G iPhone here and should win a sizeable chunk of Telecom customers, going on overseas precedents.

As the only GSM network here, Vodafone has a monopoly it can exploit to the full with such a shiny new toy.

Its monopolist behaviour was on full display with its plans.

The top end drew instant negative reaction, as people worked out the $250 a month for 1GB of data and 600 minutes of talk would turn a $199 investment in a subsidised handset into a $6000 drain on the budget over two years.

Existing Vodafone One Account customers who buy a full-price iPhone can get 1GB of data a month for $49.95. Compare that with the United States, where AT&T is charging US$30 ($39) a month for unlimited data or $45 on its business plans.

The argument being made by Vodafone reps at last week's launch was the rates could represent a 20 or 30 per cent saving for some existing power users.

But it's hardly disruptive pricing to go with disruptive technology.

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