Last night, Vodafone NZ finally relented to badgering and offered, "We can confirm Apple's statement. Vodafone will be selling the iPhone4 in New Zealand from July 30".
iPad landing Friday
Vodafone brings Google Nexus One to NZ
At Steve Jobs' July 16 Grip of Death press conference (read Apple offers iPhone 4 refunds, free cases), the Apple chief executive said the handset would be released in 17 further countries on July 30.
The screen behind him (see the Engadget pic from the event below) listed New Zealand as one of those countries - but on the day, Vodafone NZ would still not commit to a date.
Will it come with a bumper?
The big question remains: Will the iPhone 4 be released in New Zealand with a free bumper case (as are being issued to all who want them in the US)?
The Vodafone spokesman said it was beyond his remit to comment, saying the reception issue fix was up to Apple.
The company's official rubber bumper (left), which is designed to protect the phone but also prevents a hand from making direct contact with the external antenna, causing the reception problem, is pictured below. It sells in the US for $US30.
Apple has yet to comment.
A crew from Apple Australia is due to hit town on Friday - launch day for the iPad (see NBR's updated iPad release story here).
Telecom exec: Grip of Death won't be an issue
NBR asked a member of Telecom's senior management team if he thought the Grip of Death issue would slow down iPhone 4 sales.
He thought not a jot; in his opinion, it wouldn't come close to denting Apple followers fanatical loyalty - and that in any case nearly all iPhone owners chose to protect their phone with some kind of case, negating the issue.
If that holds true, it'll be good news for the company's Gen-i services division, which continues to sell the iPhone on the sly.
Despite Vodafone being the only official Apple carrier in New Zealand, Telecom continues to embrace all things Apple.
Senior executives and managers openly use iPhones and, now, two iPads have appeared in its upper ranks.
Everybody's doing Micro-SIMs
Like the iPad, the iPhone 4 requires a new format SIM card called a Micro-SIM (although a traditional shaped SIM card can be literally cut fit a Micro-SIM slot).
Vodafone is already offering free Micro-SIM swaps for on-account customers, and for $29.95 for existing pre-pay customers.
Telecom and 2degrees - despite having no compatible devices in their official line-ups - also have Micro-SIMs on order, as do Vodafone's toey MVNO partners Orcon and Black+White.
Telecom confirms Micro-SIM plans (hello, iPhone 4!)
2degrees to launch iPhone 4, iPad 3G-friendly Micro-SIMs
Orcon's brazen challenge to Vodafone: 'We could sell iPhones'
Grip of death strikes outside NBR
Wed, 21 Jul 2010