This is big news. I just finished watching the 6pm news via my DVD recorder (I hate the ads). Mike McRoberts, with little fanfare, announces that Vodafone have secured the rights to sell the iPhone later this year.
There are iPhones in New Zealand now, running on both carriers (I think) but only via cracked software. So the race to sell legitimate copies was a big race worth winning.
Last week the rumour was that Telecom had beaten Vodafone. This would have been great news for Telecom. They seem to have difficulty competing with the ‘cool’ handsets that Vodafone sells. The fact that Telecom needs to market ‘global’ handsets (as opposed to non-global?) makes them look a little old fashioned – given that Vodafone handsets will work just about anywhere in the world, without the differentiation. So, for Telecom, having the iPhone on their books would have given them some cache with the hip crowd.
As Rod Drury says: “While a positive step for Vodafone the marginal benefit to them is much less than the marginal loss to Telecom.”
And while we are on the subject…TV3 broadcast the story. At 11.10 pm a Google search for “iPhone in New Zealand” brought up only old and insignificant results. There was nothing on the Vodafone website. Thanks to Rod for writing about it 40 minutes before me. If only I had watched the news at 6pm instead of 10.30pm I could have been the first blogger to announce it!