After chaotic morning, iPhone 4 set for midday NZ launch. Kinda
[UPDATE 1: Wannabe iPhone 4 customer Dylan Bland just messaged NBR: "I'm outside Magnum Mac newmarket. The manager just came out and said, 'We are not part of iPhone 4. We don't have them'."
UPDATE II: An email from Apple Australasian's Fiona Martin to NBR says: "We are thrilled to be selling iPhone 4 in our Apple Online Store starting this [Friday] evening."
Apple offering direct online sales before Vodafone is a boon to Telecom and 2degrees, who are both selling their own SIM card aimed at iPhone 4 buyers.
UPDATE III: The iPhone 4 has now returned to Vodafone's website, but without any plan info. A statement posted to Vodafone's website around 10.15am reads: "Online sales for iPhone 4 will begin in the coming weeks."]
UPDATE IV: You still can't buy it, but iPhone 4 pricing has now appeared on Vodafone's website.
UPDATE V, 11.20am: Vodafone says iPhone 4 will be available from midday, but only at selected retails stores, and only for on-account plans because of limited stock. Stores are listed here.
At a Vodafone-branded DS Wireless store on Auckland's Queen St, NBR was told the iPhone 4 was due in "later today or tomorrow."
At a Dick Smith Electronics outlet, NBR was told there was an indefinite launch delay.
A Dick Smith sales rep, talking to NBR as a customer off the street, offered the (completely unsubstantiated but fun) theory that the delay was because of "Vodafone leaks."
It's Apple's designated iPhone 4 release day for New Zealand – and 17 other countries, including Australia.
Across the Tasman, the wonder phone duly appeared at midnight. Staff from Vodafone, and other carriers, held media stunts outside major retailers.
Here, we're going backwards, with Vodafone NZ pulling its iPhone 4 page from its website last night.
Earlier in the day, Vodafone NZ had been taking iPhone 4 registrations of interest via its site.
This morning, the iPhone 4 is still AWOL from Vodafone NZ's website.
Apple's NZ iPhone 4 website displays only a "notify me" link.
Apple confirms July 30
On July 27, Apple emailed NZ journalists, confirming July 30 as the release date for New Zealand.
Apple Australasia spokeswoman Fiona Martin subsequently told NBR that a free bumper would be made available to iPhone 4 buyers at time of purchase.
No comment from either
Last night, a Vodafone spokesman would only offer, "I cannot comment. You will have to speak to Apple."
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One industry insider - who has a track record of correctly predicting Vodafone product and service launches for NBR - messaged last night said the Friday launch was off, possibly due to a supply issue (although, as he noted, supply doesn't seem to be a problem across the ditch).
Or a snit?
An easier assumption to leap to: Vodafone NZ has thrown a snit, annoyed by Apple's apparent high tolerance for other phone companies undermining Vodafone NZ's position as sole official carrier.
Telecom and 2degrees have both opening marketed Micro-SIMs (which will only work with an iPhone 4 or iPad 3G).
2degrees is officially making its $20 Micro-SIM available today, and customers are able to use it on the companies open 3G trial.
Yesterday, Telecom baldly announced its own plan specifically targetted at iPhone 4 users.
With Vodafone NZ and Apple not commenting, customers are confused, and rumours running rife on Twitter and various website forums (a favourite: a piqued Vodafone NZ is trying to push people to Google's Android platform - although it could be noted that even there, Vodafone NZ has previously been involved in a product disappearance drama).
NBR understands there will be developments later today.