iPhone 4: MTN is cheaper, Vodacom already sold out

South Africa’s two largest cellular operators both launched the iPhone 4 at separate events last night. And by 11AM on Day One, Vodacom SMSed all their customers to say “Thanks for your interest. The newest Smartphone in the world was however SOLD OUT on its debut.”

It’s not clear whether this is due to high demand or a failure on Vodacom’s part to bring enough phones into the country.

This is the first iPhone release that doesn’t require a user to buy their phone through Vodacom which may result in a more competitive pricing structure for consumers.

Initially, the iPhone 4 will only be available at selected outlets but is expected to be rolled out country-wide in the coming months. The following Vodacom stores are already stocking the iPhone4: Vodaworld Midrand, Cellucity V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, Vodashop Gateway & Cellucity Gateway in Durban and the Vodashop Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, while more than 36 MTN stores are carrying the phone.

An initial analysis of the pricing options would seem to indicate that MTN has a far more affordable pricing structure.

The MTN TopUp 200 will cost you R379 per month, and gives you 150MB data on a 16GB iPhone4. For another R50, your data limit is increased to 300MB per month. These deals also include R200 airtime.

The equivalent 16GB iPhone 4 from Vodacom requires a buy-in of R129 per month for the instrument, plus a monthly fee of R430 per month for the per second billing, which will amount to approximately R560 per month.

There are still conflicting reports about whether the MTN pricing structure is official, as there were denials last night after a scanned copy of their pricing list was released onto the web.

But this Twitpic would seem to indicate that the pricing is official, and perhaps signalling an intention from MTN that the company wants to grow their iPhone customer base quickly.



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