iPhone 4 New Zealand Launch Debacle

Here’s how it stands:

  • Apple issued a press release early this week that the iPhone would be available in New Zealand today (30th July)
  • We have heard nothing from either Apple or Vodafone since
  • As of 9:30 this morning, there are no iPhone 4s available in New Zealand
  • Vodafone is replying to all emails with “No comment, you have to talk to Apple”

I have directly asked Vodafone about an NDA with Apple, and whether they care more about their relationship with Apple than potential iPhone customers, and get the same “We have no comment. You need to talk to Apple.” response.

But Apple just replied to an email from me as below:
[quote]We are thrilled to be selling iPhone 4 in our Apple Online Store starting this evening.
For further availability details please contact Vodafone.[/quote]
And Vodafone’s St Lukes store said
[quote]We are getting them in at midday. I can’t say how many, but not a lot.[/quote]
So just politely, why the hell is Vodafone’s official PR channel saying “we can’t comment”?

And finally, at 10:15am we have full plans and pricing on Vodafone’s website.

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  1. Working out the power relationship between Apple and Vodafone would be an interesting exercise.

    Any takers?

    They are two of the world’s more successful, agressive and controlling companies. While they are joined at the hip in many countries, they seem unable to co-ordinate on what should be a relatively straight-forward product launch.

  2. I have personally seen the contracts that apple require the Telco’s to sign, basically ALL communication about apple products MUST be approved by Apple.

    It’s not about who they care more about…one of the parties has a very aggressive contract with them.

    Why do you think Vodafone, AT&T etc just sit there and allowed the press to rip into them about rate plans, coverage device pricing etc? Apple is happy to let the telco’s take all the heat for the conditions they force onto them. Anything to protect their brand at all cost.


  3. I too have dealt with Apple’s insane approach to its partners. You can’t tell your own customers anything without getting clearance, typically from the US (forget the local guys in Aus) and that never eventuates.

    I can just imagine what was going on with Vodafone. They want to tell customers when the phones are going on sale and which stores etc, and Apple will have refused to reply – no yes or no, just no answer. This will have gone on and on and my only surprise is that nobody at Vodafone cracked and decided to tell the customers anyway. They’ve got more discipline than I do.

    Time and again Apple has screwed over its business partners and this time I would think they pushed Vodafone to breaking point. For Vodafone to cancel its plans for launch and to call all the stores the night before to say “pull it all down” is amazing. Good on them for not blinking. It’s high time Apple was outed as the control freak company that it is.

  4. 1. 4 weeks ago Vodafone indicated at a regional business meeting that they may well be looking closely at a sony product?

    2. There is a new rather large mobile solution company about to launch in NZ ???

    Anonymous please

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