iPhone 3GS In Australia: What We Know One Week Out

iphone3gsby4 Expect a glut of media coverage as the iPhone 3GS goes on sale in the US this weekend — but in Australia, we have to wait until Friday June 26 for the third major model of Apple's phone to appear. What do we know about what will happen when it does?

The answer turns out to be surprisingly little. Optus and Vodafone have both confirmed that they'll be selling the 3GS, and 3 (now effectively part of the Vodafone empire) will also offer it, the first time there's been a 3 iPhone in Australia. Telstra hasn't officially confirmed any plans, but it seems likely it will also sell the phone given its existing relationship with Apple (when the iPhone first arrived in Australia, Telstra was also the last to confirm its plans).

However, none of the companies have yet confirmed their pricing or other details. Optus has a media launch for its iPhone 3GS plans on Monday morning, and it seems unlikely that Vodafone will wait much no longer than that to spill the beans on its own prices. (Optus will also run an inflatable promotional booth in Sydney's First Fleet Park from Monday with a range of minor celebrities talking up the wonders of all things iPhone.)

Last year's iPhone launches were also marked by delayed pricing information, but even so, one week out there was much more information in the market. One possible reason for the delay (apart from typical Apple paranoia) is that many iPhone enthusiasts will still be on contract, and thus not racing to pick up a new model just yet, no matter how much they drool.

Apart from a revised design and claimed performance and battery improvements, a big selling point for iPhone 3GS is the iPhone 3.0 operating system, which became available for download for all iPhone owners earlier this week. The big controversy in this area is over 3.0's ability to use the iPhone easily as a tethered modem for connecting your PC. Optus has already confirmed that it will charge $9.99 a month for users to access that facility, a move widely regarded as greedy and/or stupid, and Telstra is rumoured to have similar plans.

Many users have set up workarounds to enable tethering for each Australian iPhone carrier, and Nick at Gizmodo has a useful walkthrough. It remains unclear how effective any workarounds these will be for Optus customers once it officially starts charging for tethering on March 22.

Even without public pricing, I can confidently predict that just like last time, early 3GS adopters will end up paying a hefty premium. The best-value iPhone 3G plans emerged some weeks after the launch, and this time will surely be no different.


    26th June = Friday

      D'oh! Fixed.

    Why can't they just tell us the prices now? I dunno if I'll buy it or I'll buy the old iPhone 3g since it'll be cheaper. I hate that they haven't touched the external design at all. I think I'm gonna get a custom backplate (metallic red), just so I can be a bit different.
    Cross my fingers for reasonable prices.

    Telstra have confirmed they'll be carrying the 3GS, same process as Optus/Vodafone/3 - register your interest @ http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile/phones/iphone/register.cfm

    "Apart from a slimmer design"

    I was under the impression there is no change in the physical shape and the only physical differences is it is slightly heavier, has glossy text on the back and is slightly more reflective with a different coating on the glass.


      Yes, there is no slimmer design from what I have heard.

    I don't see the difference between using a mobile now to access the internet, or an iPhone.
    Why do they have to charge for tethering if you have a datapack on your account??

      Because you're NOT paying for one of their USB 3G modems

    Take a look at all the iPhones being shipped in the US: http://www.iphoneinaustralia.com/iphone-news/iphones-being-shipped-across-the-us.html

    I cant wake one week!

    $10 tethering is ridiculous on our tiny data plans. In the USA they have unlimited data plans so it makes more sense over there to have tethering so ppl don't abuse the system.

    How is this even legal for them to charge for separate tethering; something that every other phone can do for free? Hoping that the profiles you can install won't allow carriers (Optus) to tell the difference b/w iphone usage and tehering usage. Criminal!

    "Even without public pricing, I can confidently predict that just like last time, early 3GS adopters will end up paying a hefty premium."
    Even though that didn't end up being the case last time? After a few weeks or months (I don't remember) Optus raised its prices slightly. Only recently have they gone down. Vodafone also upped its data allowance to 1GB, but they raised it on existing customers anyway.

    The only 'better value' plans that were released soon after release were Virgins, but that was only because they got the phone late. This time they appear to be launching the same time as everyone else, so that probably won't happen again.

    I don't see why you're so confident early adopters would be worse off when last time it was months before prices even changed a little.

      Hear, hear. What's the logic behind the comments about pricing? I don't recall iphone plans changing within months of the initial release.

    I just hope they will offer it on Prepaid, I would hate to lock myself into a plan. My current 3G I bought the day it came out and it can have any sim card you want in it. I can buy this 3G S because I didn't lock myself into a silly contract. Pleeeeeeease Optus be fair

      Hard to say. Last time, Optus was the only one to offer an outright buy at launch -- so they're the most likely, but it's hard to predict.

    Wasnt planning on buying it but seeing as i cracked my screen over the weekend (yes I do believe this is a conspiracy) looks like 3GS is for me. Probably go for a 12 month plan though. Seeing as chances are this time next year there will be the iphone 3gs^2 or something.

    Can i buy it outright and continue using my vodaphone pre paid sim in it???

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