A guest post from the unreasonablemen.net

Vodafone NZ’s iPhone pricing has become so topical we even made some US news wires…well done but I’m sorry you only have yourselves to blame…

I told a couple of you repeatedly that it is just a phone. And you kept giving me the bull that its “cool” and revolutionary”… this is just the magic of Steve Jobs and Apple. They got you to be their own marketing machine, and in doing so you made the thing (just a phone) a prestige item and a prestige brand….

Just in the same way Tag Heuer is in watches, Bang and Olufsen in stereos Aston Martin is in cars. You pay over the top for those items because of the brand prestige, why is the iPhone different? Oh that’s right, it was you that created the brand prestige.

Is the pricing over the top? Certainly, but given the monopoly position Vodafone has on the aforementioned prestige item, namely the iPhone product, what else did you expect people?

11 Comments
  • Paul Lattimore |

    Ben, I'm going to use your forum to get some advice if you don't mind. Vodafone offer a suckful 90 minutes per month overseas plan for $25, which in my role as NZ agent for Aussie software gets used in about four days. Does anyone have advice on how to contact Aussie on mobile via a cheaper third party? Also, re the iPhone. If anyone's read the 4 Hour Working Week by Tim Ferris one of the great time wasters of our time is having email available to you 24/7 in your pocket. For what Vodafone want to charge for an iPhone plan I'll happily keep my Nokia 6234 and buy an iPod.

  • thing is there was the same amount of fuss in Canada about their iphone plan, which is about as bad as ours.

    it’s not just nz where this is happening

  • You’re a dimwit on so many levels.

  • Its not that bad – prices are still comparable to other phones. $1000 for an iPhone or $800-$900 for a Blackberry or $1400 for a Nokia N95. Vodafone aren’t subsidizing it as we thought, but the price is still fairly typical of other phones in NZ.

  • Ben I think you are letting your South Island anti- “anything that looks like it has a style component built into its price” shine through. Yes, there is a premium being paid for this phone. No, it is not “just a phone”. It’s a game-changing device. The market will shake down. Apple are aware of the pricing strategy and thing will change. One area where cost is not so much a problem if the performance is there is at enterprise and organisation level where Apple has been spending a lot of time getting things right with the iPhone.

    You’re making it out to be an Aston Martin but in reality the iPhone is more like an Audi which will settle down into becoming a zippy and economic VW TDI (come for a drive if you’re in Auckland – it’s all in the torque).

  • @Robin – have a look at the author – I didn’t write that post – but nonetheless looking forward to coming for a drive with you sometime soon!

  • @ StuartM My point here is that this is just supply and demand in action. Various marketing vehicles have made the iPhone one of the most talked about devices of this year. Kudos to the marketeers because they achieved a rare feet, they got everyone talking about their product… that is they got viral marketing going on. The point being that when you all out there DID talk about the iPhone you just fueled the marketing engine. VF (who just for the record are a competitor, but they are also a massive global company and if questioned probably wouldn’t list ANY company in NZ as major competitor) think they can charge a premium because of this hype, some of you all caused. As it turns out it looks like this could just be the way VF choose to present their pricing & the actual price is at a bit of a discount.

    @ Robin, Sorry i just don’t see it as a game changer, its evolutionary not revolutionary. I currently have a blackberry, before that i had a windows based mobile… they call, have contacts, surf the web, have MP3 players, cameras etc etc on them. i’ve played with my brother in laws iPhone, it does all of this too…. slicker package, much slicker, but I personally don’t see it as being really different. BTW an RS4 is still pretty expensive and a TDI is a bit more than a Suzuki swift 🙂

    @Paul – not 100% sure what you are asking here but at a guess you could try skype – get a local AU number, – or fring on your mobile device – i have no idea about how much mobile data it uses

  • @Ben – you’re right – apologies! I think it’s unreasonable that the unreasonable men don’t reveal their identy! But I guess that’s why they are unreasonable …

    There’s a show in the UK called “grumpy old men”. I plan to be on the local equivalent when it makes it over here … :O)

  • I don’t think this is a valid analogy.

    Upfront full price of an iphone is comparable to a similarly capable device (be it an ipod touch or a windows mobile device or a blackberry). If you want to see a device that is priced WAY over the market, check out a Vertu – basically a very flash Nokia for close to $10k. Think high end Audi vs a Skoda – same base platform.

    Fundamental issuw for Vodafone is how they separated the price – On Monday at $199 it looked available to everyone, on Tuesday at $250 per month it was only really available to the people who were planning to buy it on Sunday anyway.

  • and one more thing – it is definitely revolutionary. If you have ever used the browser on an ipod touch vs windows mobile 6 or any other mobile platform it is the first device that has nailed that. Like yourself I have been using smart devices for about a decade – always with major limitations at the browser level. Safari on this platform is revolutionary.

  • @Miki

    “Fundamental issuw for Vodafone is how they separated the price”. Agreed hence my last point where i said it was how they presented the price

    And just to clarify what you are saying. One application on the device, the Safari browser is revolutionary?

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