On VodafoneNZ, MagnumMac and the iPhone 3GS

Written by David Frampton @ 12:42 am, July 10, 2009

I’m a New Zealand based iPhone developer. I make games, for iPhones. So when a new model named the 3GS that was 2-3x faster and had a bunch of extra features useful to game development was announced at the WWDC keynote, I was really excited.

It’s now just over a month since that announcement. It’s 3 weeks since the iPhone 3GS was first made available to customers. A few people have asked ‘Did you get one to develop with early?’. The answer is no. Though that would have been a great way to get some new features in my games for people to use on their new iPhones, I still don’t have one.

Why not?

Well firstly, Apple don’t allow all developers early access to new hardware. A few lucky ones might get access, but most don’t. Fair enough I guess, Apple don’t want to leak new hardware details before they are announced.

Next, the iPhone first came out in the US on the 19th of June. Had Apple released it during WWDC when most of the developers from all over the world were in the US, we all could have had a chance to get one, but it was 5 days late.

Then it was announced to come out in NZ on July 10th. 3 Weeks after a million people had iPhones and were checking them out, I had a chance to test my games on one.

At this point the story changes. A day or two doesn’t matter when you’ve been waiting 3 weeks, but minutes do. Lies and confusion do.

On Thursday the 9th, according to Vodafone, the only way to get a 3GS without getting another plan was to buy one online on the 10th. Which meant I could get one delivered on the 11th.

That day I got confirmation from the @vodafonenz twitter user that MagnumMac would NOT be selling the new iPhone 3GS outright in the store.

On Friday the 10th, due to my distrust in Vodafone, I called MagnumMac. Sure enough, they were selling the new iPhone 3GS outright in the store.

So I went down to the store, I gave them my life details, and then got told that the sales guy would call to register the phone at some point in the next hour or two. So I could go away and come back when he could be bothered calling them.

And I still don’t have one.

Maybe I sound like a whiney kid who wants his new toys now! But really I would just like to get a chance to test and use new hardware at least at the same time as everyone else. And when I do finally get a chance to get the hardware it would be nice not to be treated like a criminal planning to ship 100 unlocked iPhones overseas. It would be nice if Vodafone made a bit of effort to promote the new phone, gave people a chance to queue somewhere, didn’t make things more difficult for current customers. It would be nice if MagnumMac staff weren’t so lazy and argumentative, and didn’t treat their customers like dirty retards.

I hate dealing with Vodafone, I hate dealing with MagnumMac. From the sounds of it At&T is just as bad in the US. The sooner Apple open retail stores with a cell tower on every corner the better.

UPDATE: The guy called me back, I have my new phone. It’s shiny. I take it all back, I love you all.