VHA releases iPhone 4 pricing

Closely follows Optus and Telstra pricing

Mobile telco VHA has released its iPhone 4 pricing for its Vodafone and 3 brands. The news follows a raft of similar announcements on how and at what price Apple’s latest handset will launch in Australia late on Thursday night.

On Tuesday Telstra and Optus also released local pricing for the iPhone. Like VHA, the two other telcos will offer the iPhone on various plans underneath $100 per month, with the costliest being a Telstra option at $99 per month that comes with $1000 worth of included calling and SMS value and 500MB of data allowance.

In general the Optus options come with greatly increased data quota compared to Telstra’s plans, as well as increased included call and SMS value. However, independent tests have shown Telstra’s Next G network to be superior to that of Optus on a range of criteria, although Optus’ network was a viable alternative.

VHA will offer the iPhone 4 on both its Vodafone and 3 brands on monthly pricing plans that in some cases, appear to be cheaper than either Telstra or Optus. The cheapest monthly plan offered by both Optus and Telstra is a $49 capped plan, but 3 will offer the iPhone 4 on a $39 monthly plan, and Vodafone a $29 plan.

However, 3′s $39 plan will, for example, require customers to pay an extra $10 per month in handset pricing for the 16GB iPhone 4, or $14 for the 32GB model – all on a 24 month plan. If customers opt to pick up the new 8GB 3GS handset, they will pay an extra $5 per month on the $39 plan.

The $39 plan does, however, come with a sizeable data allocation – VHA has listed it as coming with 150MB, plus a “bonus” 1GB – although it has not disclosed how long that bonus will last. The $39 plan comes with $200 worth of calls to Vodafone and 3 mobiles, plus $150 of calls and texts to any network. 3′s iPhone 4 $49 and $79 plans also offer 1GB “bonus” data allocations.

Vodafone’s $29 monthly iPhone 4 plan is – on paper – the cheapest iPhone 4 plan in Australia, but it will also require customers to pay $18 or $24 per month in handset costs for the 16GB or 32GB iPhone 4 respectively, pushing the actual monthly price up substantially.

VHA has not listed up-front costs for either its 3 or Vodafone brand for those who want to buy an iPhone 4 outright.

Vodafone’s $29 iPhone 4 plan comes with 50MB of data, plus a “bonus” 500MB, “unlimited” calls to Vodafone and 3 customers and $180 worth of calls and text messages to any other network. The top Vodafone plan is a $99 option which comes with “unlimited” monthly credit on calls and 2GB of mobile data plus a bonus 1GB. Customers who sign up for a $99 Vodafone plan will not need to pay an extra handset costs per month.

Unlike Optus and Telstra, which have both confirmed they will open some retail outlets for midnight iPhone 4 launches, VHA has not yet detailed its own launch timing plans but is planning to do so tomorrow (Thursday).

Tags AppleiPhone 4GVodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)

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Renai LeMay

Computerworld

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