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Maxvoltar - FUCK Mobistar (a rant)

Maxvoltar is the personal weblog of Tim Van Damme, a freelance interface designer at Made by Elephant.

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FUCK Mobistar (a rant)

“The long-expected iPhone. Available starting from July 11th” Uh-oh, looks like someone made a boo-boo. The day after Apple put on it’s website Belgium was one of the happy few to receive the iPhone on July 11th, Mobistar (the company that would distribute the iPhones in Belgium) send out a newsletter, stating that “their network isn’t ready”, and “they haven’t made an agreement with Apple”. I call BS…

Belgium was one of the first countries to have a wide-spread 3G network. What we didn’t have, was mobile phones that were:

  1. capable of using the network
  2. priced so they would be accessible for everyone.

The iPhone would change all that. It’s a gadget everyone wants, and it’s priced reasonable ($199 in the US, probable €199 or more in Belgium). This would finally help companies like Mobistar to pay the debt they have after buying those network frequencies.

But instead, they decided to fuck it up, and let the consumer down. Here they had the chance to sell a shitload of mobile phones, and they missed it. People were ready to throw money at them, just so they could get an iPhone.

I was even prepared to switch over to Mobistar (after being a happy customer at Proximus), because I was convinced they would have Visual Voicemail and attractive data-plans. How naive of me…

I called Mobistar this morning (before I knew about the delay), and after a long maze of “Press 1”‘s and “Press 2”‘s, I finally got a human voice on the other side of the line. The (very friendly) operator was surprised I called to ask if I could already pre-order an iPhone. She hadn’t heard anything official from her superiors about it, and could only guess “it would be available somewhere this summer”. This is another thing typical for Belgium: non-transparency inside companies. Unlike Zappos, the employee is always the latest to know the newest. While they are the ones communicating with the customers. The ones that make or break the image of your company.

But we were talking about the iPhone here, so let’s get back to on the subject.

From the second Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 3G would cost $199, people owning a 1st gen iPhone started to panic. They bought theirs for $399 or more, how on earth would they be able to sell it for half the price they paid?! So: they all started selling it right away. I know a couple of people who decided they would live a month without an iPhone, so they could still sell their current one for a reasonable price.

Result: They all promised their iPhones to buyers, and now they are in the dark. Exactly when will Mobistar launch the iPhone 3G? What will it cost? Will we need to change provider? What kind of data-plan will we need to buy?

It’s a big big mess, and the expectancies aren’t exactly positive…

</ rant>


  • Sarah

    3937 days ago

    Well said, well said.. have nothing to add there.

  • Lensco

    3937 days ago

    I just hope one day we can look back at this post, smile and say “phew, glad that turned out okay”. Please?

  • Hans

    3937 days ago

    You already have a cracked 1G iPhone, and will be able to upgrade the software soon after the 2.0 is cracked. I bet you can live without the GPS function for a while :)

    When you’re selling your 1G iPhone based on rumours (cfr. living 1 month without an iPhone), before an official Mobistar/Apple anouncement, don’t be all upset when the rumours turn out to be false :p

  • Tom Klaasen

    3937 days ago

    Wow, that’s a lot of emotion there…

  • iYoko

    3937 days ago

    I am one of those peeps who promised his iphone to somebody to buy. Now i’m screwed!
    Belgium is no nice place to live…

  • Tim Van Damme

    3937 days ago

    Hans: Yes, I have a hacked iPhone. But I’m tired of having to re-unlock it everytime I want to use a new version of the software. I want to buy/use it legally, and buy quality software from the app store. I don’t care about GPS, but about 3G. Using your iPhone intensively for surfing and mail, EDGE in Belgium is just too slow.

    The people I know who sold their iPhone, waited until it was “officially” stated on the Apple website (see the image below). A couple of hours later, it was gone…

    iPhone on the list of July 11th

    Tom: Don’t you make me… Oh fuck I’m crying ;-)

  • iYoko

    3937 days ago

    BTW digg it, spread it!

  • Steffest

    3937 days ago

    Relax dude, and take a deep breath.
    1: it’s a phone !
    2: it’s Belgium, what did you expect ?

  • Wolf

    3937 days ago

    Agreeing with Steffest here, breathe in, breathe out, move on.

  • Joeri

    3937 days ago

    This is exactly how I feel!

  • Sven

    3937 days ago

    And on top of that, you’re still without Starbucks! :P

    I’ll think of you when I finally settle down in the UK next month :D

  • Frederic

    3930 days ago

    Wow! They seems neally ready now… :-)

    I’m probably a bit late on this one but, have you seen the minisite Mobistar lauched some days ago?

  • Tim Van Damme

    3930 days ago

    @Fred: Yes I’ve seen it. Signed up the minute it launched :-)

  • Frederic

    3923 days ago

    Hey Tim, have you seen that Apple has updated this page and Belgium is now under the “Binnenkort verkrijgbaar” title. WTF?

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