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P1: “we don’t sell MiFi”

With the cheapest cost-per-GB MiFi plans in the country there’s actually a strong case for P1 to promote its MF230 MiFi device. The generous monthly data allowance combined with seamless wireless connectivity for up to five devices makes it easy for users with multiple devices to get connected when out and about with a MiFi and a P1 plan.

P1’s MF230 MiFi was initially launched exclusively with Harvey Norman back in December 2010. To purchase the MF230 you will need to buy an iPad with Harvey Norman as well. There is no option that allowed you to purchase the MF230 as a standalone device.

We thought that this exclusivity period was only for a couple of months, so we got in touch with P1 Customer Service via its web-chat service on its website to get the latest information about the MF230 and whether it is available a standalone purchase item now.

The above screen capture was the answer that we got from a P1 customer service rep. Close to four months after the Harvey Norman deal, you still can’t buy the MF230 from P1 directly. This is confusing because there is a prominent mention of the MF230 MiFi on P1’s website but as we’ve discovered, the device is not sold by P1. The only way to get the MF230 is through Harvey Norman and even then, you’ll need to buy an iPad from them first.

With the market now inundated with tablets from numerous manufacturers MiFi devices are gaining popularity. We have a market primed for a high adoption of this particular breed of gadget. And with the impending iPad 2 mania hitting the nation this coming Friday, it’d be smart for P1 to start selling its MF230 through multiple channel rather than rely on one single channel partner (in this case, it’s Harvey Norman). Also, there should be an option to purchase the MiFi standalone and not have it tied-up to an expensive purchase-with-purchase program.

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On top of this P1 CEO Michael Lai openly proclaimed via his Twitter account that its MF230 “works wonderfully well while others fail”. If this is indeed the case, then it would seem that P1 have a strong product in its hands. So why the bashful market approach?

We’re not sure why P1 is not selling the MF230 using their own channels. All we know is that, if the CEO thinks very highly of the device, the should make it widely available and easily purchased.