DATELINE 2.13pm, Wednesday. Our Art Director just walked up Queen Street and reports the two guys who started queuing last night have now been joined by a girl, who has sensibly brought along a bean bag. So, there are now three Kiwis vying to be the first in the world to be ripped off - sorry, buy - a 3G iPhone. Our sister site Computerworld has hosted some video from last night, as our brave queuers are taunted by Aussie visitors.
Our web producer is going to brave the cold tonight to shoot some queue action, so head back tomorrow for some more footage. And visit to pcworld.co.nz at 12.01am tonight to see Scott's NZ-exclusive video review, or tune in to TV1 at 8.15am tomorrow to see Scott and his 3G iPhone on Breakfast (and from around midday on TVNZondemand).
Wait, isn't this supposed to be an entertainment handset that lets you take a few calls as you play your tunes? Maybe so, but Vodafone's 3G iPhone data plan pricing, released this morning, is not just corporate - it's Learjet corporate. $250 a month for a modest 1GB of data (on a minimum two-year contract) is the kind of lettuce you'd expect to fork out if you were a C-suite exec on some kind of ultra-premium BlackBerry plan. I feel so nostalgic for yesterday, when the leaked upfront pricing (from $199) make the 3G iPhone look so attractive. No wonder iPhone price-rage is suddenly swirling everywhere online. The NZ Herald's Your Views section had nine pages of hate comments within hours.
We don't know all the details of Aussie data plan pricing yet, but from what we do know (see the link to Ted's "eye-watering" story, below) an iPhone is going to be cheaper to run across the Tasman. One can only assume that's because Aussies will be able to buy their iPhone from a choice of three telcos (Optus, Telstra or Vodafone), while we've got one.
Our Art Director - who like many has been buzzing for days about the 3G iPhone - was going to start queuing from 11pm to buy his handset. Now - like scores posting to the Herald's site and our own Press F1 - he's saying forget it. And he's not cheap either. He says he'd have been willing to pay up to $120 for the 1GB plan (plans include voice). So who's going to turn up? People who've been about to schedule quick appointments with their bank manager. [UPDATE: and these two guys, whom PC World staff writer Jan Birkeland found on Auckland's Queen Street this Wednesday morning, having already spent their first freezing night queuing to be first in the world for the Friday launch.]
American gadget-freaks eye New Zealand
Vodafone announces eye-watering 3G iPhone plans
Stuff readers overwhelmingly critical
Online petition calls for pre-pay pricing
Herald readers call iPhone pricing a rip-off
iPhone 3G pricing crashes Vodafone site
PC World Press F1ers rebel
Video: Campbell Live rips Vodafone pricing to shreds (welcome back, the John we know and love)