Prepaid Datentarif USA

Da ich das neulich selbst gesucht habe, hier mal als Suchmaschinen-Futter für’s nächste Mal: ich war Ende Januar beruflich in den USA und wollte mit meinem iPhone Datenzugriff haben, zumindest für EMail, Twitter und Google Maps.

Die Suchergebnisse für so etwas sind leider eher durchwachsen… ich kann mich auch noch erinnern daß eine Prepaid-SIM mit Daten nur unter dem Ladentisch oder mit Umstand (Kreditkarte hinterlegen, dann sofort wieder online kündigen um automatisches Nachladen zu verhindern) zu haben war.

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Of course, it’s not even in stock, and T-Mobile doesn’t have the slightest clue when it will be. The operator told me the initial price for the iPhone would be on the first bill, while the order confirmation email says they’ll collect on delivery.

This is going to be interesting. All my other gadgets were without a contract, this will tie me to the device for 24 months. This is new. I’m thinking of this as my personal computer (I don’t have any other one, I just use my work laptop for everything I need to do).

Next steps: order an Invisible Shield.

It doesn’t pay to be an early adopter with Apple

So, Vodafone sues T-Mobile in germany over exclusive iPhone contracts. They don’t aim for a sales stop, but they want T-Mobile to unbundle the iPhone from their “special” tarriff.

It looks like the customer may win in this battle:

  • First of all, the courts want T-Mobile to offer iPhones without a contract. T-Mobile concurs by offering iPhones for EUR 999,–. Yeah, right.
  • They also force T-Mobile to offer unlocked iPhones (in germany, only prepaid phones usually come with locks). T-Mobile offers free unlocking for anybody buying an iPhone after 11-19-2007. Too bad if you bought one before that date.

That’s not T-Mobile’s final strategy, for sure, but it shows that lock-in will not work in the long run. It also documents T-Mobile’s fight to do just that regardless. My prediction: the market will route around them. There’ll be more unlocked iPhones and hacked ones than T-Mobile ones soon.

I’m still not getting one. Come back to me when the monthly plan, including unlimited data, is below EUR 20. Anything else is usury, given that you can get unlimited 3G UMTS/GPRS for EUR 25. And you could even use that on a laptop, which you can’t with the iPhone.

Here’s the official press release

iPhone – no hype in germany

Last night. T-Mobile stores in germany opened at midnight to serve the crowds of germans waiting for the iPhone. To their dismay, there were no crowds.

I think I know one of the reasons. Let’s compare prices, shall we?

USA: iPhone $399, cheapest plan $59,99 including 450 minutes with rollover, 200 SMS, unlimited data, unlimited mobile to mobile, 5000 minutes nights & weekends. Existing customers can add the iPhone data plan for $20.

Germany (USD rate calculated via iPhone $585, cheapest plan $72 including 100 minutes without rollover, 40 SMS, unlimited data (which will be throttled to 64kBit/s after 200MB). Existing customers must get a second contract.

Spot the difference.