O2 Ireland CEO calls iPhone customers ‘freaks’

“Mobile giant O2 confirmed yesterday that the first of the iPhones, which combine a phone with a widescreen iPod music player and an internet browser, will go on sale in Ireland on March 14,” Jason O’Brien reports for The Independent.

“But Irish consumers will have to make a significant financial commitment if they want to own the latest must-have gadget. As well as paying out between €399 and €499 for the iPhone itself, depending on the storage capacity, they will also have to sign up to an 18-month contract with o2 costing at least €45 per month,” O’Brien reports. “It means the cheapest iPhone will set you back €1,209 over the next year and a half.”

MacDailyNews Take: So, how much are O2’s other data plans combined with devices that do the same things as iPhone… oh, wait, there are none of those.

O’Brien continues, “‘You can’t compare it with other products,’ Danuta Gray, O2 Ireland CEO said yesterday. ‘Comparing it with a standard handset is just not like-for-like. I have music on it, videos on it, DVDs, photo albums, camera. To me it’s just an amazing device and I think the type of price here compared with this type of functionality is where the value should be judged.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, what Danuta said.

O’Brien continues, “The device, which plays videos and music and sends email, as well as having an impressive touch-screen navigation system, will be sold in an 8GB and 16GB version here. The 16GB version will cost €499, compared with approximately €430 in Britain and €370 in the US, as of yesterday’s exchange rates. However, despite the price tag, O2 is confident that the queues seen in the US last June and in Britain last November will be replicated here. ‘I’d say your Apple freaks will be queuing out the door when we launch,’ Ms Gray said.”

Full article here.

“Freak” is a term of endearment on the Emerald Isle. wink

51 Comments

  1. @ MacDailyNews Note: We are working to improve or server capacity. Please forgive us for delays in posting due to technical issues. We hope to have it all ironed out ASAP. Thank you for your patience.

    Why don’t you just allow the content to load before the ads?! Holy Jebus, dudes! You are obviously having the ads load-in before the content or everything would just load when it came in naturally. And what about that “promise” to have an iPhone version with less ads, or perhaps text-based ads?

    We all know you need to make money, and that is fine, but you are the ones always talking about “what flies in the face of what consumers want…”, right? Well, I have been here for a long time and am really starting to be put-off by how much bandwidth is taken-up in the name of advertising before I can even get to the content. Very frustrating.

    I’m a Web application designer and developer who would be willing to work with you guys pro-bono to help you come up with a better solution, one that would still allow you to make the same money you are now but which also doesn’t alienate your true customers, the readers of MDN.

  2. The problem with the printed word, whether on paper or on a blog, is that the context and subtlety of language can be lost, either unintentionally or deliberately.

    And what we have here is MDN deliberately stripping context from a quote in order to generate clicks, which generate ad revenue.

    Not big and not very clever, especially when there are real stories in circulation that would be of real benefit to Mac users when confronting Windows bigotry like the recent revelation that Microsoft deliberately misled consumers regarding the minimum equipment configuration for Vista. Or even the involvement of Apple’s Final Cut Pro in the Coen Brother’s multi Oscar-winning “No Country For Old Men”.

  3. My son posted this on boards.ie (a popular irish site) & late on yesterdays MDN, so I thought i’d post it for him on this today (he’s at collage & a huge Mac fan). Apple Insider forums had many similar comments.

    O2 ripping us off in the Republic of Ireland

    Whether you like the iPhone or not this is simply another case of being ripped off in Ireland. In every other country the iPhone has been released, they have had unlimited data plans also usually supported by an agreement for use of wi-fi hotspots such as AT&T;’s wi-fi spots in the US and O2’s own wi-fi hotspots in the UK. In the UK iPhone subcribers also have access to cloud wi-fi network which is a nationwide wi-fi provider inclusive in their O2 tariff.
    What is interesting here is that the iPhone is only available in the UK on O2 and in Ireland on O2. This gives us a direct comparison between pricing policies in the UK and Ireland via the same company, for example: high tariff UK is £75 (€105) Vs €100 in Ireland. In the UK you get 3000 minutes of calls but in Ireland you get 700 minutes. In UK you get 500 texts and in Ireland you get 250. In UK you get unlimited data and wi-fi (O2 hotspots and cloud) and in Ireland you get a 1GB limit, 2c for every additional 1MB and no deal with any wi-fi hotspots. And also in Ireland, additional calls are 20c per minute which is pretty high and additional texts are 10c per text, also relatively high.
    Even a tech-related article I read today states this:
    “Fees will start at €45 per month under an 18-month contract; users will not however have access to unlimited data, the cap being set at 1GB for all plans. Similarly, Visual Voicemail is not being supported in the initial deployment, though it may arrive later. Both of these changes will make the Irish iPhone distinct from that in any other country.”
    Also, quoting the O2 website:
    “Unused inclusive minutes and texts cannot be carried over to the following month.” and
    “*** Visual voicemail is not currently supported”.

    We are the only country so far with no unlimited data plan. O2 are also launching this product on St. Patrick’s day March 14th. It is nice to know that O2 are sending us a happy Paddy’s week gift by ripping us off.

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