&796/ Hands-on: iPhone 4? How Much Will It Cost?

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Out of Order - Orange.ch

In 2008 I asked: "iPhone? I Have Read About It. But When Will It Be Available?"

Today I ask: I have learned I can queue tomorrow morning 6:00 AM at Orange at Globus--"Ladies First and men only allowed when accompanied by a lady. Orange is giving away small gifts and serving breakfast."

Ok, fine.

But how much will the iPhone cost me?

Even after reading yesterday's announcement from Orange (cp the email below) and consulting orange.ch (cp the image above) I have to admit: I don't know!

Textbook marketing in action. I am framed! Referring to a recent Economist article on price frames--credit for the underlying research goes to Steffen Huck and Brian Wallace of University College London (UCL), and Charlotte Duke of London Economics:

"Drip pricing, where only part of the price is revealed at first and extra charges are levied as the sale progresses (think of buying an airline ticket online); sales, where the price is contrasted with a higher price (was $2, now $1); complex pricing, such as three-for-two offers, where the unit price has to be worked out; "baiting", where a cheap deal is advertised but restricted to a few lucky shoppers; and time-limited offers that are available for a short period."

The Orange Switzerland iPhone 4 launch event seems to be a combination of all of those frames:

  • As a lady, I am baited. As a gent even more: "Take along your lady!"
  • The mail definitely creates a sense of urgency. "Demand is very high!"
  • It's unclear from the communication if the launch event has sales character ("an exclusive iPhone subscription"),
  • the pricing is complex--the actual price apparently will be revealed on midnight (complexity in combination with savings of up to CHF 440.-, up to CHF 200.-, plus CHF 240.-/120.- and urgency again: "Midnight!"),
  • and last but not least telco/ carrier contracts are drip priced by nature anyhow.

I am stuck and glad the white iPhone 4 has been delayed further to later this year. Let's wait for that one ;)

[Update July 30, 2010 6:58 AM: I haven't queued. Still no prices available online ...]

[Update August 3, 2010 6:30 PM: Orange is apologizing. Servers still shaky. No answer concerning my white iPhone question I sent on Friday.]

Study the Economist! | Read the underlying publication!

From: "orange.ch"
Date: July 28, 2010 4:25:55 PM GMT+02:00
To: Harald Felgner
Subject: Harald Felgner, order your iPhone 4

Dear Mr. Felgner,

Thank you for your loyalty and your interest in the iPhone 4.

We're happy to inform you that you can now circle 30 July 2010 in your diary. Because that's the day the iPhone 4 will be arriving. And you could be one of the first to get your hands on it.

All you need to do is order your iPhone 4 online. You can do so from 00.01 am on 30 July. Just choose one of our great offers which combine the iPhone 4 and an exclusive iPhone subscription and you can start looking forward to owning this iconic device.

And that's not all.

As if the iPhone 4 weren't amazing enough, we're offering you up to CHF 440.- worth of savings to boot: you can save up to CHF 200.- by placing your order online¹ plus CHF 240.-/120.- if you take out a 24/12-month subscription by 21 August 2010.

Demand for the iPhone 4 is very high, so best order one the minute you can. We'll be processing orders on a first-come, first-served basis.

Delivering your iPhone 4 quickly is our top priority. We realise that you'll be counting the days till you receive it. Therefore, we'll make sure that it gets to you as soon as possible.

We wish you many hours of fun with your new iPhone 4 - and thank you once again for being with Orange.

Best wishes,
Your Orange team

PS: It's simplest to order your iPhone 4 online. However, if you don't mind queuing, you might be able to pick up an iPhone 4 on 30 July at one of our twelve Orange Centers at Globus. Doors open at 6 am - and the motto is 'ladies first'. So get there early, and, with a bit of luck, you could soon be holding your very own iPhone 4.

¹This promotion is only valid for online contract renewals. The discount ranges from CHF 60.- to CHF 200.-, depending on the price plan, usage and contract duration chosen, and is applied to the first bill following contract renewal.

From: "orange.ch"
Date: August 3, 2010 6:22:14 PM GMT+02:00
To: Harald Felgner
Subject: Your iPhone 4 order
Reply-To: "orange.ch"

Dear Mr. Felgner,

The iPhone 4 was launched in Switzerland last Friday and our 'Ladies first' campaign met with overwhelming success in our Orange at Globus stores.

Unfortunately, the popularity of the campaign put a strain on our IT systems. As a result, anyone trying to renew their contract online on Friday or over the weekend may have experienced problems. We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused if you have not been able to order you iPhone 4.

Work is underway to restore the 'my account' platform and to implement alternative solutions but, unfortunately, it is unlikely that the situation will improve over the next few days. We know that you are desperate to get your hands on your iPhone 4 so we suggest that you get down to your nearest Orange Center and renew your contract with one of our iPhone 4 offers. On this occasion, you can extend your contract and still take advantage of the online discount (up to CHF 200.-¹). This way you can receive your fabulous device as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your understanding.
Your Orange team

¹This promotion is only valid for online contract renewals. The discount ranges from CHF 60.- to CHF 200.-, depending on the price plan, usage and contract duration chosen, and is applied to the first bill following contract renewal.

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