Anecdotal 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.