Why We Won’t See The iPhone 4 In Australia This July

Why We Won’t See The iPhone 4 In Australia This July

Apple has never offered a more specific release date for the iPhone 4 in Australia than late July, and its plans for a US press conference on Friday that’s rumoured to be announcing a strategy to deal with the well-documented antenna and reception issues suggest that a further delay is all too likely. But even without that development, past history suggests we’re still some weeks away at best from a local release.

Predicting Apple’s behaviour is a tricky game; after all, no-one anticipated that the iPad would get so many delays in its local launch. And there’s a lot to be said for not rushing out and buying any new device the minute it’s released, which the current iPhone 4 antenna kerfuffle demonstrates quite handily. However, we can get some guidance by looking at what’s happened with the two previous iPhone releases in Australia (the 3 and the 3GS).

The 3’s Australian release date was July 11, 2008, and that date was announced a whole month before, on June 10. The first carrier to announce pricing details was Optus, but it did so only eight days before launch. Vodafone chimed in one day before, and Telstra only released its pricing on the day the phone actually went on sale.

With the 3GS, the gap was shorter: the phone was announced on June 9 2009, and released in Australia on June 26 — 17 days later. Optus was again the first cab off the rank, but only got in four days ahead this time. Vodafone chimed in two days before the launch, and Telstra again only announced on the day.

What does this tell us about the iPhone 4? We’ve already gone more than a month since the “late July” data was announced on June 8. Historically, there’s been at least a week for carriers to announce their iPhone pricing deals (if they so choose). If by some miracle an iPhone 4 announcement for Australia was made tomorrow, it would still be a real stretch for it to appear before the end of the month.

Whatever date gets announced, it seems more obvious than ever that racing out and buying an iPhone 4 on the first day won’t get you the best choice of deals. Given Telstra’s history of last-minute pricing, you won’t be able to do any proper sort of comparison shopping in advance. And while we’ve had the advantage of learning what works and what doesn’t on the iPhone 4, how that plays out on Australian networks once there’s mass adoption will take a while to determine.

Apple is a strange and inscrutable company at times, and I’ll happily wear the flak if they send out a press release 20 minutes after this post goes up complete with Australian launch details. If past history is any guide, though, iPhone lovers will be waiting quite a while longer.


  • meh.

    after going to 4.0 on my 3G, i reverted to 3.1.2, then put on a bunch of usability apps via the jailbreak cydia and rock stores. That, and only that, have made the iphone really useable, instead of kinda.

    in another year or two when i replace it, i’m definitely not getting another iphone.

  • I suspect your right Angus, we seen the iPad delayed locally after strong sales in the US. Despite the issues, sales of iPhone 4 have still been strong, so I could definitely see a launch delay in Aus.

    Apple really need to get supply issues resolved, happens every launch.

  • “Apple really need to get supply issues resolved, happens every launch.”

    Of course it does, that’s a strategy in increasing it’s appeal. If everybody has one, where’s in the incentive, if they are in limited supply, every body wants one…can’t argue that apple is playing the game well…those basterds 😛

  • I suspect that it will be actually delayed due to stock being internally recalled and fixes for the US issues being applied:
    – Antenna protective layer?
    – Less ‘opaque’ faceplate for proximity sensor?
    – Firmware upgrade for signal bars

    However, the PR announcement will be that it has been delayed due to “unprecedented demand”.

  • Being a self confessed cynic, I apprecicate/respect/understand your opinion on this. But I hope your wrong. I’m waiting to upgrade my old 3G, which has really slowed down with the 4.0 software upgrade.

    I use a case 🙂

  • Really hope you’re wrong here..

    Maybe it’s just free bumpers for everybody? Or they’re coating the new ones with something that you can come in store and get done?

  • hey i think at the conference apple (wearing party hats) will come out and say:

    “HAHA!! tricked yas!… that device is actually the ipod 4g… with an accidental call making function added, the new iphone4 will be released soon”

    lol skinny stevie jobsy… hes a cutie!

  • I don’t believe this… even with the antenna issues, the release date is still set for the 23rd July. All Apple staff have been asked at 7am, no one is allowed time off, and no one-on-one appointments are available. Go figure…..

    • I work for Voda, and we’ve not even been told this so called 23rd July Release date, all we’ve got to go off is the same as the internet rumors which is “late july”.

      Voda generally lets it’s staff know via bulletins any upcomming events/plans/changes and we haven’t had anything regarding the 4.

  • I believe at the apple conference today Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4 will be released in Australia. And until September 30, all iPhone 4 purchases will receive a free case (not just Apple Bumpers) until a long-term fix is implemented. Otherwise, a full refund is available.

    Pricing etc is still unknown and I don’t think will be available to apply for on the apple site and plus other websites prob won’t post their prices till late next week.

    source: http://www.iphoneinaustralia.com/latest/iphone-4-to-be-released-in-australia-friday-july-30.html

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