High Apple iPhone 3G sales have delivered a windfall for local wi-fi hotspot provider Tomizone. Since the launch of the iPhone in Australia and New Zealand, Tomizone has experienced a 40 percent boost in its number of hotspots and a 60 percent increase in user registrations in the region.
Its wi-fi hotspots, which all support the wi-fi-enabled iPhone and iPod Touch, have increased from 600 to 850 in New Zealand and Australia. User registrations have increased due to Tomizone offering 500 MB of free usage over three months to iPhone and iPod Touch customers.
CEO Steve Simms says user registrations are still climbing but he does not believe this is a result of Vodafone New Zealand’s decision last week to launch two cheaper pricing plans for the iPhone. “We don’t necessary worry about the pricing plan or the carrier as users just want a good experience on their iPhone. We seem to be attracting the people that want to go and play with iTunes on wi-fi.”
The figures have surpassed Tomizone's forecasts, says Simms. “Our big numbers were blown out completely. That’s a good thing because the wi-fi system hasn’t shown any problems with the increase in numbers.”
He adds that the rise in hotspots is due to the benefits businesses get from having one. “If someone is using their iPhone at a Tomizone hotspot, the owner gets paid for that usage so that also helps drive the appeal of setting up the hotspot. We had a hotspot owner last week in New Zealand who got a payout from us of $2200. It cost him nothing but the wi-fi router and internet connection.”
Simms also attributes the rise in numbers to increased consumer knowledge.“Business users have known about wi-fi for some time but New Zealand and Australian consumers actually understand what a wi-fi hotspot is now and that it’s viable.”
Tomizone is now available in 13 countries with India the next big market. “The iPhone is now in India and we recently opened a sales office there. Some fairly major Indian deals are in the pipeline,” says Simms.