Following on from last weeks post on 3 launching in Ireland, I went into a few 3G and Carphone Warehouse shops over the weekend to see if they had any promotions running for the first weekend of the 3 network.
I am rather surprised by how low-key the 3 launch is. Firstly they have no shops their own yet. I don't know if they plan on opening any but for the moment they are selling their phones through independent phone shop chains like 3G and Carphone Warehouse. Secondly in most of those shops there was only a single cardboard stand with some leaflets and balloons and two of the phones (Motorolla E1000 and the LG U8138) on display, glued to the stands. Only one 3G store, in Dundrum actually had boxes you could pick up and bring to the counter, again only for the Motorolla and the LG. They also had the phones on display in glass cabinets along with all the other phones they were selling.
All in all its a rather muted and underwhelming launch. A bit of a shame really as the Irish market is primed for some big international player like 3 to come along with a good offer and suck customers away from the duopoly of Vodafone and O2. Meteor failed because they shot themselves in the foot with their patchy coverage for the first couple of years. That problem was solved when they signed a roaming deal with O2 but the damage to their reputation was already done. Hopefully 3 wont fall into a similar trap by keeping too low a profile.