What Australians Don’t Get With The iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S is the first iPhone that’s going to hit Australian shelves at the same time as the US. But despite that improvement, there are some aspects of the local market it won’t take advantage of.

Surprisingly, the voice recognition in Siri isn’t one of them. Apple’s launch release notes that ” Siri will be available in beta on iPhone 4S in English (localized for US, UK and Australia)”. Past experience with voice recognition makes me suspect that it will still work better if you use an American accent, but we can’t accuse Apple of ignoring Australian needs on this front, and the proof will be in the testing.

Principally, what we don’t get is the ability to take advantage of some features available on local phone networks. While the iPhone 4S adds HSDPA support, there’s no option for LTE, so data-heavy users won’t be able to take advantage of Telstra’s recently-launched LTE network or Optus’ planned upgrades next year. Given that one of the key features of iOS 5 is the ability to automatically sync via your phone connection, it’s a pity we won’t be able to exploit that extra speed. There’s also no hardware support for the HD Voice network which Telstra has deployed, so no chance of increasing call quality there.

Finally, we’ve known for quite a while that iTunes Match, which syncs all the music you own to the cloud, would be a US-only service. Apple enjoys surprises, but it didn’t elect to surprise us with global plans for Match. Given the mire of global music rights, that’s disappointing but hardly shocking.

Any other features you wish the iPhone 4S offered? Tell us in the comments.

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