Things to remember when advance ordering an iPhone

Things to remember when advance ordering an iPhone
iPhone3G.jpgAnecdotal evidence suggests that lots of people are taking advantage of Optus’ advance ordering scheme for the 3G iPhone, jumping at what will probably be the first chance to own a fully legal iPhone that works properly in Australia. (As we write, Vodafone’s similar site still isn’t up and running). More power to the iPhone lovers out there, but remember these tips before slapping down your $100 deposit:

  • The deposit isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get an iPhone, though it presumably gives you the best chance of doing so. If you don’t score one from the initial batch (because the store sells out), you should get a refund if you want one.
  • Once Optus publishes its list of participating stores, it will make sense to do some planning and pick a store that won’t be a total riot zone — stores in CBD areas and near university campuses are bound to get seriously hit.
  • Also remember that we don’t yet know details of the contract plans. Once these become apparent, you may decide that buying a full-priced phone and using prepaid is a better choice. Again, you should be able to get a refund, but it’s no surprise
  • If you’re not already on Optus, do some testing at your home and office to ensure there’s a decent signal — all mobile networks have holes, and you don’t want your shiny new phone in the middle of one.
  • Optus’ site is plastered with assurances that its credit card collection is secure, but it’s a bit of a worry that it doesn’t have an obviously secure address. Keep an eye on your online statements between now and July 19 to be sure.
  • Remember you are paying a price to be first — Optus will be earning interest on your deposit and you’ll potentially be paying interest depending on your credit card type.


  • The credit card processing section of the site is https, however it’s sitting in an iFrame so it’s not immediately obvious. I’d recommend opening the iFrame link in a new window (Firefox users can right click the iFrame area and choose this frame > open in new window) to keep and eye on the URL if you’re worried about funny business.

  • Voda and Optus are both on record as saying unlocked iPhones will also be available, but I’d be surprised if they offered them at launch. Much more likely they’ll only offer the locked-to-plan handsets for the first couple of weeks.

    I can’t bring myself to put down a deposit until they announce what the data pricing plans will be. I assume they’re holding off anouncing that until the last minute, since neither wants to be the carrier with the more expensive plan. From my experience with my unlocked US iPhone, data use is SIGNIFICANT so be prepared to get gouged if the data component of the plan is expensive.

  • Something else to remember: phones which use prepaid (and hence you pay for upfront) probably won’t be unlocked as such, just free of a long-term commitment to a contract you don’t need.

  • I work in an Optus store, but I gotta say they really FAIL when it comes to site design… In the previous store where I worked, the home page with its crappy flash was crashing half of our point-of-sale computers whenever we tried to look up something (certainly other carrier sites suck too – the couple of times I’ve looked up Voda recently they’ve crashed on window close).

    And that iFrame business deserves a good hard spanking. They’re almost getting as bad as US banks. :p

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