O2 Ireland CEO Danuta Gray calls Apple users "freaks" in an interview with the Irish Independent this morning.
Confirming O2 Ireland's plans to introduce the iPhone in that country in March, Ms. Gray said: "I'd say your Apple freaks will be queuing out the door when we launch."
Apple will introduce the iPhone in Ireland with O2 Ireland, but potential customers are already wincing at O2 Ireland's €399 (£304) or €499 (£380) price, limited tariffs and service deal for the device.
Customers in Ireland are perplexed at O2 Ireland's demand that users pay a minimum €45/month (£34/month) subscription for the device, for which users get a poor-seeming deal including just 175 minutes of call time and 100 texts. Compared to the UK's deal of 600 minutes and 500 texts.
Apple's Irish customers are also concerned that O2 is choosing to cap data traffic for iPhone users. Data traffic is capped at a measly 1GB - even though feedback from all the networks offering the iPhone so far, including O2 in the UK, suggests iPhone users are heavy users of data traffic. In contrast, iPhone owners in the UK and US are offered unlimited data usage.
What's perplexing Irish customers even more is O2 Ireland's lack of support for one of the key features of the device - Visual Voicemail. This handy feature lets you review a list of those who have left messages for you in order to choose which messages you want to hear, without being forced to listen through to them all. O2 Ireland will charge iPhone users a hefty 15c/minute charge for message playback.
Danuta Gray, O2 Ireland CEO, said: "To me it's just an amazing device and I think the type of price here compared with this type of functionality is where the value should be judged."