It looks like folks from other countries are just as shocked by the prices offered by their countries’ providers as I am with Telia. Take for example Italy.
According to thisarticle in Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter (aka DN) (Swedish only), customers are not pleased with either offer from the country’s two iPhone vendors Vodaphone and Telecom Italia. The cheapest subscription package from Telecom Italia last week, Starter, offers users 1 GB of data traffic for 30 euros (47 US dollars, 280 Swedish kronor) per month, but users must pay per minute and per SMS prices. Vodafone remained silent then, but not Italian customers who took to the blogoshpere to vent their frustrations.
Now Vodafone is throwing its hat into the ring with three different private and one business subscription package. The cheapest private package is 59 euros (92 US dollars, 550 Swedish kronor), which includes 400 minutes of voice, 400 SMS messages, and 600MB of data traffic – with the possibility of an even cheaper rate for folks who are already Vodafone customers.
Italian business magazine Nore Il Sore 24 Ore says Vodafone may soon offer their fixed customers a monthly fee package of 9 euros (14 US dollars, 85 Swedish kronor), which if combined with their Freestyle subscription should bring the total cost down to a monthly total of 114 euros (180 US dollars, 1077 Swedish kronor). This includes 600 MB of data, but customers have to pay for each voice call and every SMS. Customers are rightly outraged. I don’t care how you slice it, that’s a lot of money.
One could take solace in knowing that providers from another nation are taking their customers to the cleaners as well. After all misery loves company, right? No. I’m not one of those types. I feel just as sorry and frustrated for the Italians who have to deal with this situation as I do us folks in Sweden. True capitalist that I am, I’ll sit back and watch the market handle things, and I’m more patient than I’ve ever been now. Though I live in Sweden, I stilldon’t have a 3G account yet because they’re simply too expensive. I was hoping the iPhone would bring me into the 3G world, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon. I stand firm on not even considering an iPhone via Telia. Truth be told, I’m now pondering, if only just, an iPod Touch. It’s pretty much the iPhone without the phone, and now comes in a hefty 32 GB size, which is the minimum amount of space I need on an iPod. And as the father of a beautiful 5 month-old little girl, I’m not at all ready to give up the fantastic digital cameraon my Nokia N95. The tipping point for me could be MobileMe. If it works half as good as the “Guided Tour” on Apple’s web site I’ll start saving for an iPod Touch right away. Until then I’ll just hope consumers react negatively to the high prices, allowing the market to correct the current offers from the providers.
Here’s to hoping all savvy European users rightly hold back on purchasing a 3G iPhone until providers wise up. 😉
(A hearty hat-tip to Elvis for the DN article.)