Vodafone launched the pricing plans for the iPhone this morning at 10.00am. iPhone

Pay $199 for the phone and $250/month on a two year contract and that’s $6,199 paid at the end of that term.

Seems excessive? It is.

Vodafone had a perfect opportunity to capture a big segment of Telecom’s market. I’ve been a Telecom customer for years – since the days of the Motorola ‘brick’. The iPhone is the first time I have considered moving to Vodafone. But not at that price…not even at the lowest $80 per month plan. On that plan the phone would cost me $699.

Mark Rushworth, Chief Marketing Officer for Vodafone said on Campbell Live that it was more than a phone…it was a phone, and an iPod, and he said it will give me access to the internet wherever I am.

It doesn’t take much investigation to discover that the 3G coverage is abysmal. Vodafone claim coverage of 97% of where the population live which sounds like a lot until you take a look at the maps on the Vodafone site. Click on Palmerston North and the red indicates coverage. The New Zealand map is worse.

I know it’s Apple. I know it’s sexy, and stylish, and modern, and so ‘now’, but I’m going to remain content with my Palm Treo 700wx. I can access the web sites I need to access (Gmail etc) and I can use it as a phone. I can’t use it as an iPod, but I’m happy with my separate 30GB Video iPod. I’ve got a gazillion songs on it (all legal) and the batteries last me 8 days before recharging is required. My current Telecom plan costs me around $40/month. I never exceed my data limits.

I sound so old-fashioned but I’ve decided, with Vodafone’s help, that I don’t need an iPhone – certainly not at the cost revealed today.

What else could I do with $6,199? Ideas anyone?

P.S Great thread over on Rod Drury’s blog from some knowledgeable folk. General consensus is that Vodafone haven’t done so well…