Do I want one of those brand new 3G iPhone, YES. But I will wait until what will and see what is going to happen with the offers by all the major telcos in Australia, before committing.
One of the big issues for me and probably 100,000 people living south of Perth is coverage. The two networks who announced the will be getting the Apple iPhone Vodafone and Optus, share the same network (along with Virgin) and 3G coverage stops halfway between my house and Perth. Without 3G it makes the iPhone far less useful than my current Dopod 838Pro (HTC Hermes) and 8Mb iPod touch combination (the phone’s HDSPA connection can be shared over wifi with the iPod).
So that leaves Telstra and my current carrier 3. Telstra have a big issue with the current 3G iPhone, it only works on their city networks, once you get into the country, no 3G. Their NextG network is the wrong frequency for the current 3G iPhone. If I was Telstra, I would be unwilling to sell a phone that only worked on part of my network. The other problem with Telstra is their data pricing, it is 4 or more times expensive than the offerings from their competitors. Also Telstra seems to like 36 month contracts, which is way too long for me.
Which leaves 3, I believe 3 announced early on they would not interested in the iPhone. I hope that was in the competitive bidding to be the sole network for the iPhone and that in an open market, they will support the iPhone.
That said, there is no reason why an unlocked 3G iPhone will not work on the 3 network. So I will wait and see what happens in the Australian marketplace in the next couple of months and buy one outright if possible, when the pricing is sorted out. It will be a lot more than the no more than US$199 for the 8Gb model, Steve Jobs announced. When an 8Gb iPod touch is US$299, the US$199 for an iPhone is tied to a 2 year contract. Without a contract, the cost in Austrlia is likely to be anybody’s guess, but probably in the $700 to $1000 range.
So why do I want to 3G iPhone, well, I only want to carry one devices instead of three (phone, iPod, GPS device), the 3G iPhone does things better than the 3 devices and finally the Dopod battery does not last well, particularly after 18 months of heavy use. So yes, I would be willing to spend big on unlocked 3G iPhone. However, I would much rather win a 3G iPhone which is being offered by Web Directions. All you have to is sign up for Web Directions South 08 before July 10. And seeing I have been to the last 3 Web Directions South (well Web Directions South 07, Web Directions 06 and Web Essentials 05) and seeing I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learnt a lot, I am not going to miss going this year. And if you blog about it, your chances of winning are tripled.
It looks like I was mistaken the 3G iPhone operates on 850Mhz which is what Telstra uses for it’s NextG service outisde the big cities, so the iPhone will work on Telstra and rumour has it that Telstra will be offering iPhones, just not as launch partenrs with Apple.