Vodafone will go to market in the UK with a co-ordinated multi-channel strategy when it launches the Apple iPhone on January 14.
Vodafone will make the iPhone available across all its direct sales channels, as well as through Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U and 20 selected dealer partners on January 14.
Vodafone has agreed with 10 Yes Telecom ‘Gold Partner’ dealers and 10 direct ‘Premier Partner’ dealers to sell the device. Vodafone is going through training and accreditation with them, and iPhone maker Apple, now, ahead of the January launch.
Further dealer partners will be selected in the New Year, and through the first quarter, from its roster of direct dealer partners and dealers working through its Yes Telecom distribution centre.
In the consumer market, it will sell via its own retail, web and telesales channels, as well as Carphone and Phones 4U. It will sell via its direct channels and the dealer market to business users.
Vodafone has taken pre-registrations for the device since it announced the deal with Apple in the UK late September.
It said “100,000s” of customers had registered interest already, and will get special dispensation of free on-network call-time for the duration of their contracts. Vodafone UK enterprise director Peter Kelly said 75 per cent of those who have already registered their interest in the iPhone on Vodafone are consumers, and 25 per cent are classified as business customers.
Kelly said of Vodafone’s indirect strategy in the business market: “We are very committed to the indirect sales channel, and you will see that commitment growth through 2010. That is why we will launch the iPhone simultaneously through all our sales channels.”