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Topic # 23810 9-Jul-2008 14:39 Send private message

Hello Guys,  I’ve been reading your feedback with interest and thought I’d compile some Q&A’s to help clarify your questions around our pricing for the iPhone.  I’ve tried my best to keep marketing speak out of it J.  As you can imagine we are in full count down mode until the launch so I won’t be able to jump back online.   Kursten

These plans are expensiveThese plans are the best value Vodafone offers – and we are offering the biggest subsidy ever on a new release device.  If you look at the table below we offer savings across all of our You Choose plans and Talker, Texter plans. We stated that these would be exciting plans and have delivered savings of between 5% and 20% or up to $38 per month and $230 on the device.



Where did the $50 plan that Mark Rushworth come up with on Campbell Live come from?

Customers have several pricing options to choose from, all of which are tailored to suit different budgets and needs.  With the data add-on you can add 200mb plan to your existing You Choose plan.  Therefore if you take a You Choose 20 plus a 200mb add-on you pay a total of $49.90 per month.  If you are a new customer you will receive a $160 subsidy for this.  
 

You misled us with the ‘from $199’ cost.
No, we announced the cost in the same wording as the US ‘starting at $199’ http://www.apple.com/iphone/ We established various pricing plans based on voice, txt and of course mobile internet – each of which offer a subsidy on the rrp.    On our iPhone 250 plan the subsidised cost of the device is $199.  With this plan you get 1Gig of data, 600 minutes and 600 txts.   In the absence of having all the information some people assumed they would get the phone for $199 on a $30 monthly plan.  The reality is this is not commercially viable for us.  

How does this compare to other mobiles?
It is unfair to compare this device with others.  As you know it is a unique, stand alone device. It is also so much more than just a mobile. However, if you look at the pricing plans for other ‘similar’ handsets we currently have on the market, the value is definitely better.  And if you look at the previous Q&A you will find that we have the iPhone 3G on the best value plans we have and have given our largest subsidy. 

Why are your data caps so small?
The plans have been developed based on the usage of the existing iPhones (2G) that we have on our network.  As you know we have a 3Gig 3G Broadband plan in the market and based on uptake and usage of our existing plans we may open this to the iPhone.   

Why no Visual Voicemail?
We do not currently have visual voicemail on our voicemail platform but we are working with our vendor on implementation options and costs.   

In the ‘iPhone 1GB’ plan I don’t want 600mins of calling therefore I am paying for something I don’t need.
We have a range of options for people so they can choose the best voice, txt and date plan to suit their needs and budget. It is possible for customers to add the 1Gig data add-on to their existing You Choose Plan.  The minimum cost for this is You Choose 20 and 1Gig of Data ($69.90).  In this situation the subsidy for a new customer would be $160 

You are ripping us off compared to international pricing.
In terms of recommend retail pricing for the device the 8GB device only in NZ is currently mid table see here. Note I haven’t fully checked this table but I know you have previously referred to it. In terms of the usage elements, these plans are the best value plans we have in the market.  Compared to standard You Choose you save up to between 5 & 20% and you get a greater subsidy for this product. 

Will the Iphone work with a prepay SIM?
A strange answer but yes and no.  Yes the phone will work for Voice and Txt but will not work for data as the data connection uses a specific APN that is only available on On Account. 

Why don’t you have prepay?
We have focused our efforts on On Account connections for four main reasons
1)     Our plans are better value on account – such as Talker, Txter and Mega. BestMates is also better value on On Account than Prepay ($12 vs $18 for 3 BestMates).
2)     We don’t have data bundles available on prepay – and accessing the internet and other features such as email are just two of the reasons why this device is so special
3)     By committing to a contract we are able to offer customers a subsidy for the iPhone – this is the biggest subsidy we have ever offered on a new release device)    
Also, of the current 2G iPhones that we have on our network the majority of these customers are on account We will look at prepay data bundles down the track, but this will be months not weeks away.   

Why is there no $1 per day data pricing?
The $1 pricing is designed for casual users of data.  As you will know, one of the great things about this device is the web browsing experience.  To ensure that a customer gets the best out of this and is in control of their costs a data bundle approach was taken.  

Can we sign up on one of these if we don't have an iPhone?
The 3G broadband add ons are available on other On Account plans however we have ensured that the iPhone gets our best plans and best subsidy. 

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  Reply # 145443 9-Jul-2008 14:49 Send private message

I guess the real question is when are other users going to see better value plans?

Is it fair that an iPhone user who is being very heavily subsidised (and as you continually point out the highest subsidy of any device ever) can get a better value plan that a current You Choose user who receives a very small or non existant subsidy?

Vodafone still don't understand the data business. Period.

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  Reply # 145444 9-Jul-2008 14:49 Send private message

KurstenShalfoon: phone will work for Voice and Txt but will not work for data as the data connection uses a specific APN that is only available on On Account



Interesting, it seems some users were correct with their APN hypothesis.

Also note that VF is looking at prepay data bundles Wink

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  Reply # 145466 9-Jul-2008 15:17 Send private message

I'm happy using it for voice and text at the moment on prepay i'll last with wifi.

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  Reply # 145480 9-Jul-2008 15:34 Send private message

JoeBloggs:
KurstenShalfoon: phone will work for Voice and Txt but will not work for data as the data connection uses a specific APN that is only available on On Account



Interesting, it seems some users were correct with their APN hypothesis.


Bingo.




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  Reply # 145491 9-Jul-2008 15:53 Send private message

So no need to sign up On Account at all for voice and txt only?

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  Reply # 145495 9-Jul-2008 15:58 Send private message

magu:
JoeBloggs:
KurstenShalfoon: phone will work for Voice and Txt but will not work for data as the data connection uses a specific APN that is only available on On Account



Interesting, it seems some users were correct with their APN hypothesis.


Bingo.

Hi magu, can you please explain if this would be the same case for iPhone 2.5G? I don't know what APN means, I just want to know if a 1st gen iPhone would be eligible for the $1 casual.

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  Reply # 145496 9-Jul-2008 15:59 Send private message

It seems a shame that Vodafone wants all of my money or none of my money, but nothing in between. I'm planning on buying a parallel imported model now due to their pricing structure (cheaper to buy than their outright price and no obligation to sign up for a contract). Fact is that for me it is cheaper to do it this way, regardless of what Vodafone's marketing department says. 

I'll make do with wifi (home/university/work) until later this year. If Vodafone doesn't change its stance on prepaid data, let you sign up for a data plan without a voice plan by then or offer a $40 per month iPhone plan, I'll look at switching to Telecom or Orcon (assuming their networks are available by then).

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  Reply # 145504 9-Jul-2008 16:10 Send private message

Hi Kursten thanks for the post, it's good to see VF actually responding.

I think the price of the plans isn't so much the issue but rather it's the data limits you've packaged with them.  They may be cheaper than your current data plans, but let's be honest here your current plans are a rip off.  The iPhone is unlike any other device VF currently sells and is the best mobile device for surfing the Net by far.  As a result users of the iPhone will typically use more data than other devices - that's why there has been such an outcry when you've priced the data so close to your current plans.

If you really want to recover from all this negative PR that has been generated then I would recommend that you bite the bullet, swallow some pride and double the data caps for the 3G iPhone.




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  Reply # 145519 9-Jul-2008 16:33 Send private message

sbiddle:
Vodafone still don't understand the data business. Period.


I will have to second this comment.

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  Reply # 145525 9-Jul-2008 16:40 Send private message

ahmad:
magu:
JoeBloggs:
KurstenShalfoon: phone will work for Voice and Txt but will not work for data as the data connection uses a specific APN that is only available on On Account



Interesting, it seems some users were correct with their APN hypothesis.


Bingo.

Hi magu, can you please explain if this would be the same case for iPhone 2.5G? I don't know what APN means, I just want to know if a 1st gen iPhone would be eligible for the $1 casual.



An apn is a "access point name" it is pretty much used to create virualised networks on a GGSN. It lokos like the iphone will be hard coded with their own apn. As the old iphones aren't hard coded with an apn you can use whatever apn you have access too. E.G www or internet apn... which also means you'll probably be able to get casul data rates on the old phone...

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  Reply # 145526 9-Jul-2008 16:40 Send private message

NOW I'm very interested to see what is the iPhone APN?!




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  Reply # 145539 9-Jul-2008 16:53 Send private message

One wonders how the iPhone APN will be enforced - will Vodafone be detecting the device server side and automatically forcing data through the iPhone APN (or blocking other ones) or will this setting simply be stored on the device (as is typical). The latter scenario surely means it's only a matter of time before we discover where this setting is and can simply change it back to the normal data APN and happily use casual data on pre-pay.




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  Reply # 145541 9-Jul-2008 16:57 Send private message

RedJungle: One wonders how the iPhone APN will be enforced - will Vodafone be detecting the device server side and automatically forcing data through the iPhone APN (or blocking other ones) or will this setting simply be stored on the device (as is typical). The latter scenario surely means it's only a matter of time before we discover where this setting is and can simply change it back to the normal data APN and happily use casual data on pre-pay.
That is what I had been wondering. Hopefully it is client side, as it would put parallel imported iPhone 3Gs in the same boat as first generation models currently being used on Vodafone's network. Smile

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  Reply # 145544 9-Jul-2008 17:01 Send private message

I think it's client-side. They don't have anything that even resembles an IMEI dependent internet gateway. Just a matter of time Wink

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  Reply # 145545 9-Jul-2008 17:01 Send private message

First of all, thank you for posting this.

Secondly, If possible, can you please give us a little more detail on how VDF came up with the data cap?

Attached 3 images of fiddler session summary.

1.Randomly browsing 10 pages on NZHerlad


2.Randomly browsing 10 pages on Stuff


3.Browsing the first 10 pages of a long thread on Geekzone forum



The total data added up to around 6.5 MB in mere 5 minutes of browsing. Sure, when a user is actually browsing the net, it will take abit more than 5 minutes to hit the same number of pages. Lets say it will take the user 1 hour to browse the same amount of pages. If the user ONLY use the IPhone for viewing web pages, that's will put the data usage to almost 200MB amonth without doing anything else. Now, lets add Email Sync to the equation. Lets say your average user receive 0.5MB email each day (mostly plain text email), that's 15MB of Email in a month and will bring our usage to 215. It really doesn't leave much room for watching video or downloading music, which seems to be one of the main attraction/selling point of the IPhone. The remaining 35 MB (assuming the user is on the $80 / month plan) will roughly equates to 5 short video clips from YouTube, and we can completely forget about Google Maps since it's a freaken data hog.

When I used to have a Windows Mobile PDA Phone with a coporate contract, I chewed through more than 200 MB of data every month just by casual browsing and abit of Exchange Synchronisation. With a "Multimedia" Gadget like the IPhone, I'm pretty sure people will easily use up alot more than that.

I already feel sorry for those who are getting the iphone, thinking they will now be able to download music, watch video etc etc, but had no idea how quickly they will hit the data allowance. Imaging when they receive their first bill:

$80 ----- IPhone 250 MB Monthly charges.
$50 ----- 500MB excessive data usage.

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