New Zealand will be the first country in the world to get the Apple iPhone 3G, because of the country's position on the international dateline. Vodafone NZ is the carrier which is offering the iPhone, but its pricing plans - released today - have attracted a storm of criticism. Vodafone NZ has decided to charge extortionist prices for the iPhone 3G. Kiwis (including yours truly) are naturally outraged.
The top of the line price is $250 per month for the 16GB iPhone 3G (plus $349 to buy the phone). For that kiwis get a measly 1GB data per month and have to sign for a 24 month contract. The cheapest deal for kiwis is the 8GB black iPhone 3G, for $80 per month (but you have to shell out $549 clams for the phone). Here are the full details from Vodafone NZ's website::
Note that kiwis can just buy the phone only, without the plan. But the price is a far cry from the $199 touted a month ago when the iPhone 3G was announced. To buy the phone sans plan will cost kiwis $979 for the 8GB and $1129 for the 16GB.
Unfortunately this goes to show once again that phone carriers are greedy opportunists. It also makes a mockery of Apple's claims at its conference last month that it would cost just $199.
On local NZ news tonight, TV3 presenter John Campbell grilled Vodafone marketing executive Mark Rushworth, noting that Vodafone was 'charging like a wounded bull'. The Vodafone spokesman had no response other than a rote description of their outrageous pricing plans. You can see a video of the interview here.
There is currently a petition on Facebook, started by Michael McGimpsey. Go sign it, even if you're not from NZ (very likely, given that less than 1% of our readers are from there). Carrier greed worldwide is probably the major reason why the Mobile Web is struggling to take off.