Telecom courts iPhone users with $600 credit

Special offer entices iPhone users to switch carriers

The competition for iPhone users in New Zealand has just heated up, even before Telecom announces any deal with Apple to distribute its iconic smartphone.

Telecom has published a special deal for existing iPhone users, almost all of whom would be on Vodafone's network, offering a $600 credit and 240MB of free data each month for 24 months to any user that signs up for its One Rate 180 plan or higher on a 24-month contract.

The One Rate 180 plan costs $79.95 a month with 180 call minutes included.

Vodafone released its iPhone 3GS pricing plans last week.

Vodafone spokesman Paul Brislen says Vodafone is offering 3GB of data for the next three months. He says when a user on XT uses up their 240MB cap they would then go on to 50 cents a MB. If they used the same amount of data as Vodafone is now offering, that would cost them $1375 more.

Vodafone's offer, however, is just for three months, where Telecom's is for 24. When asked what Vodafone would do after those three months, Brislen replied: "We'll do something else."

Brislen adds that Vodafone is offering 1000 free pxts as part of its offer and that users can't tether their iPhones on Telecom's network without "jiggery-pokery".

In a statement released this morning, Telecom says it now has more than 100,000 customers on its XT network.

Of the iPhone offer, Telecom’s director of mobile, Paul Hamburger, says the new iPhone 3GS is a very exciting device "so it makes sense for customers who want to use it on New Zealand’s fastest 3G network to be able to".

Telecom points out that with the local iPhone store now offering iPhones directly, they no longer need to sign up with mobile providers for their phone.

With number portability, users moving between networks can also keep their existing numbers.

Vodafone also announced a new offer today, with new customers being enticed by free mobile web surfing for three months.

Customers who sign up to selected Vodafone plans or a new Vodafone prepay connection between 13 July and 12 October will receive 100MB per month free for their first three months.

Prepay customer who move to one of selected On Account plans, will also qualify as will resigning account customers, Vodafone says.

Eligible plans are You Choose plans, Easy plans, Starter plans, TXTer plans, Talker plans and Mega plans.

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