Vodafone announces official iPhone prices

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Vodafone has confirmed many of their iPhone pricing plans, a day after they leaked onto the web via their homepage, adding monthly repayment prices.

The company has listed eight plans, split into four consumer and four business, with the cheapest consumer plan starting from $69.

All eight plans are identical to those that slipped out yesterday, but the monthly handset repayment prices mean potential buyers can now finally compare Optus and Vodafone plans side by side. 

Those who purchase an iPhone on the $69 plan will now have an option to either pay $189 upfront to purchase the phone, as announced yesterday, or $7.88 per month for the eight gigabyte model or $12.88 for the 16 GB model.

Data allowance on the $69 plan still compares unfavourably with Optus, with only 250 MB of data compared with Optus’ 500 MB of data on a cheaper $59 plan.

Customers who sign up for a $99 plan will see monthly handset repayment prices drop to $4.13 for the eight gigabyte model and $9.13 for the 16 GB model.

The data allowance rises to 500 MB.

Vodafone’s $119 plan includes the same amount of data as the $99 plan, but monthly handset repayment prices drop to $2.46 for the eight gigabyte model or $7.46 for the 16 GB iPhone.

Upfront prices for the $99 plan are $99 and $219 for the eight and 16 gigabyte models respectively, with users paying $59 or $179 on the $119 plan.

Business plans are identical in pricing and data downloads.

Noticeable by their absence from today’s announcement were the $49, $79 and $99 cap plan prices included in yesterday’s leaked document, as well as pre-paid plans.

Despite their decidedly lower data allowances compared to Optus, Vodafone Australia chief executive, Russell Hewitt, said, “The iPhone 3G is designed for customers who want to download mobile music and entertainment, as well as enjoy mobile email, so we’ve created caps that realistically cater for that type of data usage”.

“True to our brand promise, Vodafone is being straight-up with customers by telling them exactly what’s included within our iPhone 3G caps and how much it costs,” added Hewitt.

Hewitt said pre-registration had been “incredible”.

And, despite the cloud of legal action hanging over the company’s head regarding the iPhone’s compatibility with its 3G network, Hewitt said Vodafone iPhone users would be assured of a “fantastic experience” with its “high-speed mobile network and great value price plans”.

Vodafone stores and selected retail outlets will also be stocking the iPhone 3G from Friday, July 11. When Vodafone ramps up to full commercial availability, iPhone 3G will be available at more than 800 retail outlets.

Full details are available here.

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