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5 August, 2008

more iPhone 3G news

iPhone 3GTo best of my knowledge, Australia is the only country with most carriers that sells iPhone 3G in the world. Last week, Virgin Mobile joined Vodafone, Optus, and Telstra to sell iPhone 3G, making the total number of carriers authorised to sell iPhone to be four (4). Three (Hutchison 3G Australia Pty Ltd) still can't get the deal with Apple after asking Three users to beg Apple, instead they released new plans for iPhone BYO.

Virgin Mobile's iPhone plans are available at $70/mo (for 8GB iPhone 3G) and $100/mo (for 16GB iPhone 3G) on 24 months contract without any upfront costs. the $70 plan includes $520 call credit and 1GB data; the $100 plan includes same $520 call credit and a massive 5GB data allowance.

Strictly speaking, Virgin Mobile uses Optus's network.

3's new plan for iPhone BYO
Australia's fourth largest mobile carrier - Three which failed to score a deal with Apple has lunched a special plan for those who have an iPhone 3G (unlocked). The cheapest plan ($49/mo) give you $350 credit, 300 minutes to other 3 customers and 1GB data allowance. No iPhone 3G included in 3's plans. Please be advised that 3's 3G coverage is the most limited one in Australia (only in metropolitan areas), using 3G service outside 3's own coverage will incur $1.65/MB additional charge.

iPhone 3G is still very limited in stock across Australia. It seems like it is still not that easy to get a 16GB prepaid iPhone 3G from Optus outlets. Lucky that I got my iPhone 3G on the first of sale.

I am with Vodafone, although only comes with 250MB data allowance on my plan, I believe it is sufficient for me and for most people. How many of you will use that much of internet on your iPhone 3G after the first month or two?

Meanwhile, Apple released Software 2.0.1 for iPhone and iPod touch today.

invisibleSHIELDAgain, I highly recommend getting invisibleSHIELD for your iPhone 3G, iPhone, iPod touch and all your gadgets to prevent ugly scratches. invisibleSHIELD does not add the usual bulkiness (as in other skins/cases) to your gadgets.

related blog entries:
invisibleSHIELD for iPhone 3G (22 July 2008)
I got my iPhone 3G (11 July 2008)
Vodafone releases iPhone 3G pricing (9 July 2008)
exciting week (7 July 2008)
Optus released iPhone 3G prices (3 July, 2008)
Telstra to sell iPhone 3G confirmed, price released (1 July, 2008)
iPhone 3G news update (21 June, 2008)
iPhone 3G is coming to Autralia, finally (11 June 2008)

Posted by Antony on 5 August 2008 8:50 PM | iPod

more August 2008 blogs. (or 2008 blogs)
from iTunes Store:
IHMO, users shouldn't have to beg a company to release a phone on a certain network...
Posted by Don_HH2K on 5 August 2008 11:21 PM.
That was 3's ploy. They had a link/page on something like "tell Apple they want iPhone on 3". (this is being reported.)
Posted by Antony Shen on 5 August 2008 11:49 PM.
What I mean is, they shouldn't need to beg in order to easily get an iPhone onto a network other than the ones offering it. In other words, I don't approve of SIM locking.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 6 August 2008 9:41 AM.
If my understanding is correct, all mobile handsets in Australia must be allowed to be unlocked legitimately (fees may be charged).
Posted by Antony Shen on 6 August 2008 2:34 PM.
It seems to me that you're avoiding the underlying issue, that the phone is tied to a carrier in particular. Ideally the consumer should be able to activate the phone on whatever GSM-capable network he/she pleases without having to wait or pay for a procedure like unlocking.

Around here, unlocking a phone usually means you need to be a customer in good standing and furthermore need to have owned the phone for roughly 90 days. I'm not sure how much GSM providers charge for early contract cancellation, but Verizon (CDMA) charges $250 to cancel a contract before it expires.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 6 August 2008 3:34 PM.
I did not try to avoid your point.
A subsidised mobile phone (handset) is allowed and is common. Many carriers now sell mobile phones that are either unlocked (buying the phone outright) or allowing customers to unlock it (free).
In the case of allowing customers to unlocking it, the usual practise here in Australia is 1) pay (usually) $80 to unlock it within first 6 months OR 2) wait 6 months (and the customers have recharged $80 credit during the period) to unlock it for free. If the mobile handset is subsided, you have to pay off the handset before you can unlock it, which is understandable. Anyone can have their handset unlocked at anytime if he/she decides to pay unlocking fee.
Terminating a contract is another issue. All carriers are required to inform their customers at the time of signing up a contract on the cost of early termination. (In my case with Vodafone, earlier terminating means I have to pay half of the monthly free x the reminding months.)
Posted by Antony Shen on 6 August 2008 5:28 PM.
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