What price an Aussie iPhone?

What price an Aussie iPhone?

iPhone3G.jpgI guess we shouldn’t complain — Australians will get the new 3G iPhone
on July 11, the earliest date that anyone will, and we get a choice of networks
(Vodafone and Optus) which is more than the original iPhone ever boasted. But
while US customers are promised a US$199 phone, both Optus and Vodafone are
only saying that pricing details will be announced at a later date.

Vodafone says both prepay and contract plans will be available; Optus
hasn’t even got that level of detail, but does offer a site
where you can pre-register your interest, and the option to pay $100 against
the price to jump to the head of the queue. Do you honestly need a new phone
that badly? (Vodafone is also planning a similar site at iphone.vodafone.com.au, though this isn’t yet live.) Anyway, what’s the bet that US$199 translates as something more than
the $210-odd that current exchange rates would imply?


  • I was going to purchase an iPhone (currently needing a new phone i figured i may as well as i was thinking of getting one eventually anyway).

    I will more than likely wait off for another month for the 3G version to be released in Australia. Although even though the exchange rate hits up the iPhone to calculate at approx $210 I’m still worried Vodafone and Optus will announce the iPhone to cost around $599. I guess time will tell

  • I paid about AU $800 to get mine here and crack it open – so $600 would be expensive, but not ungodly. The thing I find raw is the contract obligations. With a cracked phone you are not beholden to a particular vendor.

    When my current unit is a few years old, or it died/smashes/et I’ll get the 3g without hesitation.

  • No iPhone from Three? I was counting on their competitive 3G data plans. I hope Vodafone and Optus can offer more than they currently do for the money. Compare:

    Optus: $4.95/10MB, $9.95/30MB $14.95/200MB

    Vodafone: Offers conflicting prices, but 39.95 for 5GB isn’t too bad – but they only offer that with a 3G mobile broadband modem. Maybe when the iPhone is released that will change.

    Three: $15 for 1Gb, with comparable pricing as you increase that.

    Perhaps if Vodafone keeps it’s pricing it might be OK. But Optus will have to lift its game.

  • Mind you guys, Steve Jobs did not demo the new iPhone video call capability and I seriously doubt it has front side camera at all. I can’t find the info from the Tech Spec page on Apple.com.

    In other words, this iPhone has 3G speed (in Metropolitan 3G coverage area) but it won’t come with a video call function like any other 3G phones on the market right now.

  • I’m not going to pre-register when they can’t even tell us what the final cost will be. But I’ve been hanging onto a lemon of a phone for a while in the hopes that it’d last me until the iPhone became available here, so I’ll be closely following the news on this!

  • I was talking to someone who works for a telco that also deals with optus, she said that the rumored price from optus is $250. But i personally doubt it with our tech prices here.

  • I have been using my (jailbroken) iPhone since Christmas, and it is just the most beautiful piece of technology. I would jump for the 3G in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, there is not so much benefit that I get to give up the one I have. So I will stick with 2.5G and my hubby will jump in for a new one.

    Fingers crossed that restrictions on provider come off and I can cross-over to 2.0 and standard upgrades, at least. Does anyone have any info on that?

  • Agree with Adrian. Although, a few things that do come to mind with the new iphone now that it’s released has turned me off from the initial hype I got myself into before wwdc:
    1. no copy-paste-cut support
    2. no front-side camera
    3. no flash support (for web-browsing)
    4. no blue-tooth headphone support…

    i can live with no front-side camera and blue-tooth headphone, but not the rest… it’s sad but i might have to wait a bit more before buying myself a new phone, even though the current iPhone is already mouth-watering…

  • Gotta show some concern when the Optus signon page where you can register interest for iPhone and Enter Your Credit Card is NOT even encrypted! No SLL Cert and it even claims its secure on the page. Beware until its fixed.

  • Engadget says that during the Steve Jobs keynote he said:

    “The price is a maximum of $199 all around the world — we’re really, really excited about the new iPhone 3G.”

    So there it is from the horse’s mouth. By that reckoning it has to be about $210.

  • People who follow Jobs more closely than I assure me that his take on “all around the world” sometimes equates to “east and west coast”. Why would iPhone pricing have parity when iPods never have?

  • I’d agree with Matt because I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Sir Jobs say “$199 all around the world”.
    Given exchange rates (and different currencies), I don’t know how you could give the same price across multiple countries. Even if it is US$199, is that based on exchange rates on July 11?

  • None of you seem to be getting the point – that’s not how phone plans tend to work over here.
    In the US, if you walk into an AT&T (or Verizon, or Sprint etc) store, all the phones are advertised as “$50 on a 24 month plan” or “$199 on a 24 month plan” or “$499 on a 24 month plan”. When was the last time you had to pay for a phone here and still go on a contract?

    The way the plan works in the US is AT&T subsidize the iPhone. AT&T will pay apple a much higher cost, $500, just as an example, and then they sell the iPhone to you at a lower, subsidised price since you’ll be making calls with them for the next 24 months, so they expect to get a return on their investment.

    In Australia however, the standard practice is for carriers to subsidise the ENTIRE phone, which is why you always see phones advertised as “Free on a $49 Cap over 24 months”. (Or you can usually get it on a cheaper plan, but pay additional handset repayments each month).

    Generally you also have another option of paying for the phone upfront (therefore paying the actual cost the telco paid to apple, eg $500) and then you’re not on a contract and could cancel from day 1. The telco doesn’t mind, because you paid full price for the phone.

    So the $199 figure doesn’t really translate very well into the cost of the phone over here, because our plans are structured quite differently.

    One method is looking at other phones from AT&T that cost $199 on a 24 month plan, and then see what sort of plans it’s available on here in Australia. That’s a little difficult though, as many models we have in Australia aren’t actually available in the US.

    Another way to try and figure it out – with Steve’s remark of it being no more than $199 around the world, maybe you could guess that over a 24 month plan the handset repayments on the cheapest plan, ie $29 cap may be $10 a month, so it will probably be free on a $49 cap.

    My guess? I think it will be free on a $69/$79 cap.

  • I agree with Jono… I think we will probably see some plans with the phone for free. The main concern I still have is data plans. Neither optus or vodafone have very good data plans but hopefully they will have some specific ones for the iPhone as it is advertised as the internet in your pocket. My guess is it will be like the blackberry plans

  • Something all of you have missed:
    go back and listen to that quote again… the WHOLE quote… you will clearly note that Steve says “And in almost everyone of these countries the price is a maximum of $199.”
    It’s at about 1:40:10 into the keynote…
    Sorry guys…

  • Okay… first of all, I work in an Optus store and we’re waiting on more info ourselves… Typically when a new phone is released from Nokia, Ericsson, etc. we will get pricing information about 2 weeks ahead of time; both outright pricing and which plans it will be free on.

    In the case of the iPhone 3G they will probably send all stores updates in our internal bulletins as well as the standard updates along with the rest of the pricing. Right now the easiest way to keep on top of things is to get your contact details to a rep in-store so they can call you when the first order comes in and can probably hang onto one for you at least for 24hrs (I don’t tend to put much faith in pre-ordering myself).

    As to the objections about the “www.optusiphone.com.au” site not running as a secure site, I have to agree that it is stupidly designed, but what they have done is inserted a HTTPS iframe (to https://secure.adviceconnect.com.au) within an unencrypted page… so you are ‘safe’, or as safe as any online transaction you might conduct through your computer might be.

    Now, with regards to the phone itself… personally I NEVER get the ‘latest and greatest’ phone available, as even with the major providers like Nokia who have been in the game for a decade or more, often the first batch of a new phone will have multiple software bugs and possibly design faults that don’t get ironed out till the first or second revision.

    That said, Apple might prove me wrong in this instance. This 3G iPhone is one of only two phones I’m considering upgrading to in the next couple of months (the other is the upcoming HTC Diamond – partly due to the fact that since we started carrying HTC phones, they’ve had something like 80-90% fewer warranty returns than any other brand, and they know how to design a phone, too).

    Last but not least, the data pricing has changed dramatically over the past 6-8 months and I expect it will continue to do so; it is probably also worth getting your hands on an ABN (in some cases, this is possible through an authorization letter from work or partner if you don’t hold your own) since business data plans have already been revamped even if they aren’t being publicly advertised yet. Old biz data pricing (available from http://smb.optus.com.au/web/ocaportal.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=Template_woRHS&FP=/smallbusiness/mobile/3gmobile&site=smallbusiness) is $5=5MB, $15=30MB, $25=50MB, $35=75MB. This was last changed around 8-9 months ago I believe.
    In contrast, the new pricing is based off the current Optus Wireless Broadband pricing, available here: http://smb.optus.com.au/web/ocaportal.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=Template_wRHS&FP=/smallbusiness/internet/wireless&site=smallbusiness
    which is MUCH nicer, with 1GB/2GB/6GB at $20/$35/$50 respectively. ๐Ÿ™‚

    – Matthew

    P.S: I’m not an employee of Optus directly (stores are franchised) – nor do my opinions and advice come from Optus. I’m just trying to help with what I know, this is not a press release or anything. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I used to work for Optus and they never told us anything about pricing until the day before (or on the day).

    The thing that gives me hope is that the iphone will be offered on prepaid with Optus and Voda, and i’ve never seen a prepaid phone more than $330 for sale. There just is no market for that.

    I think that Optus will have a reasonable price for the prepaid phone- say $210-250(8gb), but they will try and entice people to plans by coming up with a special plan that includes data or something. It’d be great if they match the blackberry plan $79 cap, $300 inc calls and unlimited data, push email etc…

  • I know the price of apple products in Australia are always higher than those in the USA even after converting currencies, but there really isn’t any possible way that Apple/Optus/Vodafone could seriously ask Australian consumers to pay more than AUD$300. If they do then that would be a mark up of over US$80! Now that doesn’t really sit well with me, and I am sure would not sit well with anyone in Australia. I am definately hanging out for this phone, and from what I can tell Apple is trying to make their mark by offering a cut price Smartphone. All I can say is that I believe the Australian consumers will lash back at this product if the cost is over AUD$300. I seriously don’t see how this could happen, it really can’t be that much more costly to get the product to Australia than compared to the USA, and tax on this item to import really can’t be that much either! Here is hoping for a product under or very close to AUD$300!!!

  • We’ve put our deposit on an Ozzie iPhone — but all its got us so far is loads of emails telling us how to nasally insert our iPhone — not when it will come or how much is will COST!

  • It would be crazy to see Optus have the iPhone for $199 or $250 on prepaid. Think about how much companies like Nokia and Sony Ericsson would suffer, if this was the case I wouldn’t be suprised to see the N95 8gb around the same price mark.

    Unfortunately I think that we can expect a prepaid iPhone for around $400 – $600.

  • Is there a size limit to comments?

    I’ve posted twice now with detailed responses and information to numerous questions and issues raised above but only my third, one-line post has so far made it through. :/

    I will submit it all again one last time in my next post, and maybe if LH mods are objecting to some part of it they can strip that part out and leave the useful information for the benefit of the people asking questions here?? ๐Ÿ˜

    – Matthew

  • Hi Matthew, Sorry about that. Because your original comments had a large number of links, it was automatically blocked by the anti-spamming system. I’ll retrieve one of the original posts and put it through if appropriate.

  • First one had four links and second had three… I figured it must have been automatic but couldn’t guess exactly why. Thanks for sorting it, I did want my first LH post to be helpful =)

  • mmmm US$199, seems too good to be true….i highly doubt that it will sell that cheap in Australia….of course Vodafone and Optus will hike up the prices, because they know people will buy regardless….i hope it’s only $199 US….i read on an american news site that it be $199US globally….don’t know whether this is true though…..

  • I think Joel is getting there with the prepay price of $400-$600. You need to look at price patterns from other Apple products. Firstly, you pay a lot more if buying outside of the States.

    Secondly, I think of the iPhone as an iPod Touch with a heap more features. So take a look at the price of one of those and add a few hundred dollars. I won’t be surprised to see a prepay iPhone at $499-$699 depending on the model (8/16GB).

    Thirdly, you will get it on contact for close to $199 but you must remember that with this you are paying monthly payments, some of which would go to Apple. If you want prepay you are basically buying it straight from Apple, and in that instance they only have one chance to take your cash.

  • Bianca: “mmmm US$199, seems too good to be true”

    It is.

    I searched for ~20 minutes trying to find a transcript of what he (Steve Jobs) ACTUALLY said and not some journo’s paraphrasing! … well, i looked at some other stuff too, but anyhoo I eventually just gave up and watched it on youtube… I don’t want to get filtered again for including links, but the youtube video code is “4yVQJ6jJPak”. Just go to any youtube video and put that after the “watch?v=” part in the address bar.

    What Apple (Steve) actually said [from 3m 30s]:
    STEVE JOBS, APPLE CEO: “And I’m really happy to tell you, that the iPhone 3G, is going to sell… for one-ninety-nine … at just a hundred and ninety-nine dollars”
    and later, referring to the first 22 included in the rollout, including Australia:
    “…and in almost every one of these countries, the price is a maximum of one-ninety-nine”.

    What it sounded like Steve said:
    “iPhone 3G = US$199”

    What Steve/Apple actually meant:
    “NETWORK-LOCKED iPhone = US$199 + 18/24mth Service Contract with Early Termination Fees applicable”

    What AT&T (the US carrier providing the iPhone there) said:
    “About 90 minutes after Jobs concluded his keynote, AT&T held its own press conference to announce some major changes in the way iPhones are sold. You now must immediately agree to a two-year contract with AT&T whether you buy the iPhone in one of Apple’s stores or one of AT&T’s stores, and there will be no online ordering.” — http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-9964230-37.html
    (In the same article, it mentions that the iPhone 3G might not be able to support the instant messaging that every other current smartphone can, and doesn’t allow users to copy+paste on the handset…!?)

    The *unlocked*, no-strings-attached iPhone 3G (if any are even sold like this) will NOT be available _anywhere_ in the world for the equivalent of ONLY US$199 (let alone _everywhere_)… until they have been out long enough for stolen/fake ones to start being hocked on ebay, of course ๐Ÿ˜›

    On the bright side, UK Carrier O2 has confirmed that it will have the iPhone 3G available free on a plan which is equal to about AU$88, so worst case scenario I’d bet it would be free on our (Optus) $79 plan – and as I said earlier, it’s likely to debut on a $49 cap. In Australia we tend to have really crap outright prices, and about double the cancellation costs of other countries, but our handset subsidies on plans tend to be better.

    I bet this post gets filtered for being too long-winded, now. ๐Ÿ˜›

    – Matthew

  • I have heard from someone working within Telstra that the iPhone will be released, just around 2 weeks after the July 11th release date, so they will probably be cheaper (at least by Telstra’s standards), as they will not have paid for any excessive advertising.
    I haven’t been told of pricing yet, but expect around a $60-$80 PLAN, not cap. I would imagine it would be put at a similar price range to the current Sony Ericsson K850i, as the SE is superior in some ways to an iPhone, and the iPhone is being looked upon currently as a ‘budget’ smartphone.

  • The main strength of the iPhone 3G over my current Ericsson appears to be the responsiveness… My current phone has served me well, and I’m not going to get an iPhone myself (partly because I *know* there will be stupid restrictions on them and I won’t be able to mess around with it as I would like to), but that’s certainly something it has going for it… whether it’s processing speed or good programming perhaps, all I know is that the 3G iPhone is very easy to flick around between menus and applications at geek-speed without lagging, and I sure hope my next phone does that.

    The camera spec sucks (2MP) and doesn’t handle motion blur well at all, but for still photos it works okay, it makes it look like most phones do at 3.2MP, maybe because of the good display, not sure.. picture editing on the phone itself (3G iPhone) is lacking; see, that’s the sort of thing I’m talking about, there’s no sane reason why a modern phone with this much hype shouldn’t at least be able to adjust contrast/bright/hue/gamma/resize/crop/etc on the handset itself, but I guess Apple wants everyone to have to install their iTunes crap to be able to do anything with their content… *sigh*

    The 3G iPhone is not designed as a stand-alone device, it’s geared towards getting people to use Apple’s software on their home PCs since they are crippled in accessing all the functions and content otherwise… I don’t like that kind of company attitude, I’m very selective about what makes it onto my computer and that’s one of the main reasons why I won’t be getting this phone (but I will probably still be quite happy selling it – it has a few good points).

    Sorry if this post was a bit ranty. I’m impatiently waiting for a good Ericsson with voice-guided GPS, preloaded aussie map, touchscreen or flip, 4GB+ memory, and has to not feel like a toy.. I have yet to see any other phone that handles texting as well as an Ericsson ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • In case you haven’t heard, Telstra have released their iPhone prices (and at the same time confirming they will be th third official carrier of the iPhone). No mention of an outright price for prepay, or if they will even do such a thing…

    8GB iPhone is $279 up front on the $30/month plan, or free on $80/month plan – both on a 24 month contract.

    16GB iPhone is $399 up front on the $30/month plan, or free on the $100/month plan – both on a 24 month contract.

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