Posts tagged Apple

NZ map

iPad – XT, Vodafone and 2Degrees comparision


Well the iPad is out in NZ now (although the Apple NZ site still shows Notify Me at the top right for where the Order Now button should be as spotted 1st by Lance Wiggs).  Anyway, in addition to this meaning that I now won’t get swamped by people when I pull the iPad out in public, it does mean many of the NZ telcos have also released micro sims and also iPad data plans.  So here’s the round up.

iPad summary for New Zealand across telcos

For each item, any clear winner is marked in green, with any clear last place network marked in red (blue is for hyperlinks, so ignore that colour!)


XT (Telecom)


3G network

Next week

(only have coverage in 50% of NZ)

Coverage Map

Yes, full

Coverage Map

Yes, but not 3G in all of NZ for the iPad1

Coverage Map

Micro Sims

Available now Available now Available now

Data Plans


$6 for 50MB2

2Degrees iPad Data plans here

500MB – $29.95 (1GB is $59.90)

2GB – $59.95 (4GB is $89.90)

4GB – $79.95 (8GB is $109.90)

XT Pre-Pay Data Plans here See note 3

250MB – $20

3GB – $50

Vodafone iPad Data Plans here See note 4

Data Plans


Not yet available

500MB – $29.95

2GB – $49.95/$59.95

4GB – $69.95/79.95

XT Contract Data Plans here See note 5

No idea.  Some other voda plans MAY work, but remember some plans are “add ons” only (meaning is has to be added onto an existing Phone Plan, no a stand alone data plan.

Price of Micro Sim

Free to swap, or $20 with $20 credit.

Prepaid $29.95 / Postpaid $19.95 (free on open term 500MB plan)

Free according to the web site (but $6.95 postage)

Data charges special conditions

30 Days Expiry on pre-pay

Charges full amount each month when used at all.

PREPAY: 30 Day expiry for pre-pay.  Offers special 10c/MB until hit cap, and also $29.95 in a month to double data

CONTRACT: Can do the “double up” for $29.95 (see note 5)

30 Days Expiry on Pre-Pay

Charges full amount each month when used at all.

  1. See this post for why XT is full 3G for the iPad (and iPhone 3Gs/3G) where as Vodafone is not.  Or check for yourself by comparing coverage on XT with coverage on Vodafone and coverage on 2Degrees or this speed test between XT and Voda on an iPad in NZ
  2. 2Degrees data all expires 30 days after purchase.  50c/MB over 50MB.
  3. XT pre-pay charges 10c per MB capped at rate you set (e.g. if on 2GB then capped at $59.95)  Then for a further $29.95 your data doubles (so 2GB goes to 4) and then its 10c/MB after that.  These “double up” rates are show in brackets in the table above.  All XT rates are the same as other mobile devices.  A reminder some plans on XT are add ons only, meaning they can only be added onto an existing phone plan (i.e. not for data only devices like the iPad)
  4. For Vodafone, these are special iPad only plans.  In theory one might be able to use any of Vodafone’s data plans, but their web site implies that these are the only plans avail, so I am listing these only.  Remember, like XT, some plans are add ons only, meaning they can only be added onto an existing phone plan (i.e. not for data only devices like the iPad)
  5. XT rates for 2GB and 4GB contract are reduced by $10 if Home/Business broadband plan.  The table above shows this.  Also they offer the same “$29.95 for to double data for the month” as they do with Pre-Pay.

My recommendations on plans (updated 26th July 2010)

For light users:

  • The 29.95 XT pre-pay plan is best.
  • If you only use 20MB, that’s 10cx20 = $2, if you use 100MB, that’s $10, and so on up to 295MB (anything between 295MB and 500MB is $29.95).

For heavy users:

  • The XT 2GB plan (on pre-pay or contract, whatever is easier for you).   The double up to 4GB for a further $29.95 makes this plan very flexible (and good value).     Same apples to the 4GB plan – but I would be hard pressed to use 4GB, let alone 8GB, on an iPad.
  • If you insist on Vodafone and are only in the major metros most of the time, their 3GB for $50 plan is quite good, but know that Vodafone does NOT have a 3G network in all of NZ, and that even where it does XT is heaps faster most of the time.

UPDATE 27th July 2010:

Check out my new iPad pricing graphs for data here – it shows all the cross over points right up to 10GB or all pre-pay plans.

Other useful related links

Black and White Version: XT is still the way to go for the iPad (better coverage, and better conditions on plans) but at least there is a choice of three carriers now.

Update 26th July 2010: Made some corrections in line comments below – thanks Reuben! Removed some XT casual plans, and updated notes on XT and Voda.

Updated 29th July 2010: Updated 2Degrees info on micro-sim availability and pricing.

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Apple Bloopers


Recently I blogged about Apple’s iPhone 4 PR exercise and their lack of transparency in their data.  But I think I am more well known for say “Wow .. this is cool” when I refer to Apple.

Anyway .. I came across this .. which I think is a rather funny – and it just goes to shows Apple do have issues and even Steve Jobs presentations don’t go super smooth sometimes.

With that said, as something that’s swapped from PCs to Mac almost exclusively in the last 24 months, when I do go to use a PC I get aggravated by all those annoying Windoz things (like freezing and crashing, and the like).  I just like it when stuff works.

And just to go to be fair here is one from Microsoft (but kinda more embarrassing me thinks!)

If you would like my more serious posts on Apple and their products try:

Black and White Version: In most cases funny is funny no matter what it’s poking fun at

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Antenn-Aid for iPhone 4


Despite the fact that this issue is overblown,  I still find this funny:

Black and White Version: Funny stuff :-)   Hope Apple have a sense of humour.

Hat tip: Engadget Antenna-aid and Dan via FaceBook

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steve jobs iphone 4

iPhone 4 reception issues – what Apple didn’t tell you


I’ll cut to the chase: We all know by now that Apple have have made an announcement about the iPhone 4 reception/antenna  issues, and here’s what I think in three brief points:

  1. The video shown at the start of the Apple’s PR exercise (or at the end of this post) pretty much sums it up, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. The same applies to the iPad, if it’s not what you think a portable device should be, or just you don’t like/want it, then don’t buy it.
  2. I am in the category I don’t really think it’s a major issue for ME*, so will probably get an iPhone 4
  3. HOWEVER, I do think there is more to the story than Apple / Steve Jobs is saying, because what is most telling in the facts they quote is what they DON’T SAY and what specific measures they do use.  I’ll expand on this some more:

* I say for ME, coz it might be an issue for you, so if it is: Don’t buy one :-)

I want to expand on that third point, because I think Apple selectively choose certain statistics to suit them, and I think it’s rather obvious when you discuss what they COULD have disclosed to make it far more transparent and relevant.  This is actually one of the few blog posts where it’s not just me ranting.  Well I AM ranting, but I happen to have a level of expertise in this area.  One of my degrees is in statistics, and if there is one thing I have did learn is that you can make statistics say (almost) anything you want, especially when you comment on RAW DATA, rather than actual useful data with comparisons, baselines and standards.  There, so I actually know what I am taking about here (and that’s rare!)


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question mark

iPhone 4 recall?


The issue with iPhone 4 reception is getting more serious now.

A leading US consumer review ( withheld the ‘recommend’ tag from the iPhone 4 due to the antenna issues:

It’s official. Consumer Reports’ engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception.

But the same review also states:

Ironically, aside from these reception glitches, our other tests placed the iPhone 4 atop the latest Ratings of smart phones. But we did not feel comfortable listing a phone with such a problem as “recommended,” and therefore have withheld that tag.

Apple have (reportedly) even taken the step of deleting forum posts about this finding.  I find this most telling – if it was just people whinging (which they do btw), then Apple would let the conversation burn itself out.  But it’s not, it’s stopping conversation dead (at least on its own forums).

While Apple have admitted the iPhone 4 reception problem, talk of a recall is so far limited to the media.  But with some heavy weights saying this, it will be interesting to see how Apple responds.

Video below explains the issue and tests done.

I for one still like the iPhone, and and is selling like hot cakes (3 million a month estimate).  However action is needed – what do you think Apple will do?

Black and White Version: iPhone 4 reception issues getting more serious.  Action needed me thinks

Update 15 July 2010: Apple have called a press conference on iPhone 4 for Friday (16th July) Watch this space.

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cost of products

Price of iPhone 4 in New Zealand UPDATED


Let’s cut to the chase here: The price of most products has NOTHING to do with the cost price, the exchange rate or the relative cost of alternatives (although if you want a good analysis of some of these see iPhonewezealnd’s iPhone 4 price estimate).   The product’s cost is irrelevant too (iPhone 4 estimated production cost found here, which they estimate to be US$188 or NZ $270 or so). It has EVERYTHING to do with what the customer will pay.

We already know the price of the 3Gs on launch in NZ:  NZ$1149 for 16GB and NZ$1349 for 32GB (although you can buy an 8GB 3Gs for $899 at the moment) .  Since the iPhone 4 comes in the same sizes (16/32GB), my simple estimate of the iPhone 4 price is the same – $1149 for the 16 GB and $1349 for the 32GB.

UPDATE 27th July 2010: The 16GB pricing has been released as $1099 ($50 cheaper than my prediction).  Still waiting on 32GB $.

Update 30th June 2010: 32GB now confirmed as $1299.   Looks like I was $50 out on that too :-)   Both are now available now from the Apple web site

Update 20 October 2011: The iPhone 4s is now out. My review for use in New Zealand is here.

Black and White Version: Price is determined the willingness of the consumer to pay far more than anything else.  Let’s see if I am right in this case.

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Apple iPhone 4 reception issues


Yesterday Apple released a statement in relation to the reported iPhone 4 reception/antenna issues.

First of all Apple acknowledge the issue:

To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars. This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones. But some users have reported that iPhone 4 can drop 4 or 5 bars when tightly held in a way which covers the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band. This is a far bigger drop than normal, and as a result some have accused the iPhone 4 of having a faulty antenna design.

Then go on to say they have found the problem:

We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising.

Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.

While I don’t yet have an iPhone 4 (and despite this issue, will likely get one) Apple really have to read their own press release, and be consistent.  The described problem was that holding the iPhone 4 in a certain way KILLED calls, not dropped a couple of bars of reception.  The are trying to make it sound like the issue was how accurate the signal strength was, and quite frankly I am not sure many belive them when they make this claim.

But like so many things it while Apple are at once extreme (i.e. nothing to see here, move on), the media have picked up on this and claiming an Apple backlash. I have to say like so many things I think the media are getting WAY to excited over this.  iPhone sales are MASSIVE, the highest of ANY mobile device on launch.  The Independent claims:

The news is another blow to Apple’s reputation, already marred by a spate of suicides at the factory in China that produces its products.

Ummm .. no, that’s WAY over stating the issue.  I think the reception issue needs addressing, that’s all.

And then this:

Nearly 6000 people have signed up to the Facebook group “I hate Apple”.   Is that all?

6,000?  Is that all?  Hell I know almost that many that hate Apple (normally people without their products I would add).  Find me 6,000 pissed of iPhone 4 CUSTOMERS and then we have a story.

Anyway, to give Apple credit, at the end of their media release they finish with this:

As a reminder, if you are not fully satisfied, you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

I would say no one is forced to buy an iPhone.  If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. If you buy it and it doesn’t work for you as you expect, return it for a full refund.

Black and White Version: Apple say they have found cause of the iPhone reception issue and it’s a simple software fix.  I don’t believe them.

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Click on image for larger version price rip off (again!)


I recently blogged about and their inflated ERP (which I can only guess is Estimated Retail Price).  Before that I did the same thing on why pay pricing.

This time I have 100% proof they inflate their prices.   In my 1st post I found a refurbished iMac for sale that, by comparison with the official Apple store pricing, has an inflated ERP.  Since that example wasn’t an exact match (i.e. the Apple offer was better, but cost a tad more), it wasn’t 100% cut and dry case.   But this one is – got ya Firstin!  This time it’s an open and closed case.  Guilty as charged!

Today the advertise a 20″ iMac for $1799, claiming an ERP of $1999.

Well that’s bullshit. Apple’s own web site in NZ has a 21.5″ (so a bigger screen and a whole generation ahead of this model) for only $1699.  So not only is the ERP inflated, but for $100 less than the supposed special you can get a better computer (on every level) from Apple directly.  And if there is one sure way to measure ERP, it would be against Apple’s web site (as they don’t discount much).

Detailed summary of differences between’s offer and Apple. Winner
ERP $1999 $1699 Apple
Actual price: $1799 $1699 Apple
Screen Size


1680 x 1050 resolution


1920 by 1080 resolution

Graphics Card

ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT

128 MB

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M


Memory 2 GB 4 GB Apple
Hard Drive 320 GB 500 GB Apple
Processor 2.66 GHz 3.06GHz Apple
Keyboard Mouse Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse (both wired)
Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse Apple
OS 10.5 10.6 Apple
Shipping $15-$25 Free Apple
Warranty 1 year return to base (FirstIn) 1 year return to base (Apple) Need I say?

There are lots of great price comparison sites around like PriceSpy, and even Google is a good resource if you know how to use search engines properly.  Never trust a claimed ERP/RRP from these kind of sites without checking another source first.

Black and White Version: Be be very wary of any ERP/RRP/Savings claimed from web sites.  Do your homework 1st.

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Voicemail on Telecom XT with iOS4


It’s been reported that an iPhone with the updated OS (iOS4) breaks the link to voicemail for Telecom XT customers.  I can confirm that’s the case.

This brings the known issues for iOS4 to:

  1. Voicemail for XT users
  2. Integrated car stereo links no longer working
  3. Reception issues (many say this will be able to fixed with a software patch)

The good news is that a fix is coming as explained on the iPhonewzealand site (basically Telecom needs to update its sim cards).

In the meantime XT users can simply set up a contact called Voicemail with the number 083210 and then set this up as a favourite for easy access.  Sure not quite as easy as pressing the Voicemail button, but almost.

Btw I also found this EXCELLENT resource on iOS4, which I highly recommend reading. The best summary on the web I have found.

Black and White Version: XT voicemail busted for now under iOS4, but easy fix for now and a permanent one coming.

Hat tip: Image from iphonewzealand

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ipad wifi issue

iPad wont work in Koru lounge (for now)


It appears the well publicised iPad wifi issue means that my iPad won’t connect to any AirNZ koru lounge wifi hot-spots.

Let me know if you have an iPad and it works for you, but I have tried it in more than half a dozen different lounges in NZ in the last week and none of them worked.  They all worked on my iPhone and MacBook air.

I tried all the advice Apple gives on the iPad – wifi issue found here, but none of them work for me.  Lucky I have the 3G I guess and can use mobile data still.

Luckily this is not an issue for me at home or work, and both all the wifi connection there work well (and they are a mix of N and G speed).

Anyway, waiting for the fix from Apple (soon me hopes).  I don’t think I want to wait for iOS4 (September/October 2010) for this one.

Black and White Version: iPad wifi still needs work.  Fix please Apple.

UPDATE 10/7/2010: It’s working (easy fix in settings).  Full details in this new post.

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