Voda/Apple staff swap at launch


Vodafone and Apple have organised for 24 staff from each business to swap stores for the day to help build awareness of the brands on the launch day of the device on Vodafone.

Vodafone retail director Terry O’Brien told Mobile News the initiative indicates how closely Apple and Vodafone are working together for the sale of the iPhone.

Vodafone is expected to see a hike in footfall this week, compared with last week. O’Brien said the increase in footfall would be spurred by Vodafone’s marketing surrounding its strong 2G and 3G networks, which covers 99 per cent and 82 per cent of the population respectively, as well as its point-of-sale which is completely dedicated to the iPhone.

Said O’Brien (pictured): “The iPhone is trading extremely well on its first day of launch. There will be a good balance between the number of new connections and upgrades of the device.

“I’ve had a lot of emails from stores saying that they’ve connected many customers who have moved onto the Vodafone network from O2 and Orange and we’re expecting to see this trend continue because our tariffs are very competitive.”

All retail staff in its 400-strong estate underwent training for the device before Christmas through computer-based learning and on-the-job training with Apple experts.

“We’ve had a lot of support from Apple to keep staff up to date with the device so that they’re prepared to sell it on to the customers,” said O’Brien. 

Mobile News has previously reported that other retailers selling the iPhone – O2, Carphone Warehouse and Orange – have been targeted by thieves, with a number of demo devices in O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores being cut from their cords.

All stores will have demo devices, with up to eight demo iPhones in larger stores.

However, O’Brien reckons the iPhone will not generate an increase in attacks to its retail estate. “Security in general is a concern in the market and it’s not something that I believe will be spurred by the launch of the iPhone in Vodafone stores.

“We have very tight security any way, so there is no need to add more measures for the iPhone.”

O2, Orange, Tesco and Vodafone now all sell the iPhone on their networks.