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iPhone – Vodafone Australia leaves it too late

If Vodafone Australia don’t release their iPhone pricing/data or respond to my Pre-registration ASAP (and I mean by midday Wednesday only 48 hours before launch) I’m going to unfortunately have to go elsewhere.

What is the point of their pre-registration when:

  • One hears nothing back from it except a “Watch your inbox”
  • One goes into a Central Melbourne Vodafone shop and they say “We are not owned by Vodafone so don’t know about pre-registration or when the pricing is available”
  • One rings the Vodafone Connect number and can NOT find any option – menu – or area that will answer your iPhone questions
  • Optus and Vodafone 3G offerings outside Metro areas will use 900Mhz – WTF Carriers!

In fact their automated Phone system hung up on me twice and I gave up calling.

It looks like I’m going to have to go Telstra or Optus. Hmmmm. It may have to be Telstra since:

  • they have Nationwide 3G coverage using 850Mhz – iPhone supported
  • They will offer free WiFi access at their hotspots (aka any McDonalds)
  • It’s that easy to port my mobile numbers away from Vodafone

I know Telstra have yet to list their data usage pricing; but it can’t be as any worse than their previous offerings.

I will take this moment – for the first time – to note here that although I’m not a Telstra employee I currently work on their IT Transformation. So it may be in my best interest to “show company colours” around the office – and have my phone continue to work as I travel the lifts of the many Melbourne buildings.

Come on Vodafone – you will be losing a customer and $2000 a year in money spent on your services. As other bloggers and news outlets have mentioned, they are cutting it too close.

Telstra has rights to Sell iPhone on Australia

Telstra have now announced they will be selling the iPhone as well. According to the Age, since Telstra’s NextG network covers 99% of the population the iPhone will get good coverage due to it using the 850Mhz 3G frequencies.

iPhone

Additionally the Age have reported on the pricing Telstra will offer on their bundles:

The cheapest monthly plan will be $30, paying either $279 upfront for an eight-gigabyte iPhone or $399 for a 16Gb model. Customers who do not want to pay upfront could sign up to an $80 plan for the 8Gb model or a $100 plan for the 16Gb model.

I’ll still opting Vodafone for now, but lets see what the Vodafone pricing and data usage policy will be compare to Telstra’s. If they are almost the same (and I doubt it) it could prompt me to jump carrier. The coverage that NextG have is unrivalled in this country – but has been pricey to use for data so far. SMH Blogger Adam Turner correctly speculates that even though the pricing is out, there is no mention of data usage. Don’t get too hyped about Telstra’s offering just yet. Despite the fantastic infrastructure they are usually the most expensive.

Just to show I’m not entirely biased, Telstra are taking pre-registrations at their website. Thanks to @IdleThoughts for the heads up on this.

iPhone pre-registration in Australia

Apple now have links to two of the major carriers in Australia from their Australian iPhone website. Telstra are, not surprisingly, missing from this list.

My preference is Vodafone so I clicked through and pre-registered with them. You can do so too at their pre-registration page – and apparently a sales rep will call you back. I’m currently with them on the $79 cap, so I should be able to carry right on and hopefully get the best data plan possible. More details after a Sales person calls me.

iPhone supposedly faster on Telstra – not so

Now that we know the 3G iPhone is coming to Australia in July, I was reading back through the pre-announcment 3G rumours to see what where true. Late last month, Afterdawn wrote that according to an anonymous insider, the iPhone will be faster on Telstra by the end of 2008.

iPhone

If you follow through and read their referenced article at Electronista then the story changes slightly. They state that the iPhone will allegedly support up to 42Mbps by the end of 2008 in Australia (on NextG is inferred) “according to a senior offical“.

One more click through to the claim at ITNews and the referenced senior official is actually Sol Trujilo the Telstra CEO; and the article doesn’t mention anything about the iPhone. It is about Telstra offering a HSDPA+ service via their NextG by end of 2008.

The 3G iPhone does actually support the NextG frequencies which operate on 850 Mhz. The technical specifications on Apples iPhone page show that the 3G unit works on UMTS/HSDPA frequencies of 850, 1900 and 2100 MHz. This doesn’t mean the 3G chipset actually supports these NextG speeds.

Telstra have not yet announced the iPhone to be available through them despite Optus and Vodafone issuing press releases intending to carry the phone.

And now we come to the price. Stevie J announced in his Keynote Speech that the price of the 8GB model would not exceed USD$199 even in other countries. That comes in at about AUD$210 for an iPhone 3G 8GB at todays exchange rate. Historically there is a severe markup of 30% or more on products sole in Australia out of the USA, made by Apple.

We will see where there goes in the near future when pricing is actually announced. I’ll see you all with your new iPhone in July!

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