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This article was published on June 18, 2010

Vodafone’s iPhone 4 Pricing: A Missed Opportunity

Vodafone’s iPhone 4 Pricing: A Missed Opportunity
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

On Monday, Vodafone excited legions of potential customers by releasing its iPhone 4 tariff prices. It quickly retracted them, saying they had been published early. Fair enough – mistakes happen, but now the official prices are up and it’s clear Vodafone has messed up.

You see, the official prices are more expensive than the leaked ones. Customers will have to shell out an extra £30 upfront for their handset on all but the priciest tariffs. Now, maybe those original prices just weren’t feasible for the company to offer. They did, however, set an expectation from customers. Those customers could now think Vodafone is trying to rip them off.

Once the original prices leaked on Monday, Vodafone should have honoured them or even bettered them. Instead, they took them offline for most of the week before releasing more expensive prices today. Are we over-reacting? Those eagerly awaiting the trariffs probably wouldn’t think so, especially as Vodafone’s own Twitter account told one customer this week that:

@Sam_Harvey We aren’t just supplying the hardware the tariff pixies are working their magic tweaking the best deals possible ;-) ^BHless than a minute ago via CoTweet

Setting customers up for good things and then falling short may be an economic necessity in this case, but from a PR point of view it’s a real failure. For reference, here’s Vodafone’s leaked (and incorrect) pricing…

Vodafone's leaked (incorrect) iPhone 4 pricing

You can see the company’s actual iPhone pricing (and compare it with other UK operators) in our UK iPhone price guide.