The low-down on the iPhone 3G down-under

Optus and Telstra have released pricing plans, Vodafone yet to come to the party

Australia will be among the first 22 countries alongside the US, UK, Germany and Japan, to receive the new iPhone from Friday, July 11.

Telstra, Vodafone and Optus will all be offering Apple's iPhone 3G, which will be available in black or white and on a variety of pre-paid and contract call plans.

Telstra's Next G iPhone 3G plans will start at $30 per month with an upfront cost of $279 for the 8GB model and $399 for the 16GB device. Customers that opt for an $80 per month plan will receive the 8GB device for free. Both models will be available free to customers that sign up to plans starting from $100 per month. All plans are based on a 24-month contract and include free Wi-Fi access at Telstra hotspots, most notably at McDonalds and Starbucks restaurants. For more information visit the Telstra iPhone Web page.

Optus iPhone 3G contract plans start with the $19 Cap plan for the 8GB model, which include $51 and $21 monthly handset repayments on 12 and 24 month contracts respectively. The 16GB model plans on the same $19 Cap include $61 and $26 monthly handset repayments respectively. $0 upfront Optus' iPhone 3G plans start at $79 a month on a 24-month 'Yes' iPhone 3G Cap for the 8GB model, and $89 for the 16GB model.

Pre-paid customers can purchase the 8GB iPhone 3G from Optus for $729, or $849 for the 16GB models on any pre-paid plan. Optus is also offering one month of free data until for all contract plans connected before August 31, 2008. For the full range of plans visit Optus' iPhone 3G Web page.

Vodafone is yet to release pricing structures at the time of posting, but has said it will offer the iPhone 3G on both pre-paid and contract plans. A spokesperson from Vodafone said the release of their iPhone 3G pricing plans is imminent.

The only local carrier yet to offer the iPhone 3G is 3 Mobile, which has setup an online petition to convince Apple to allow it to also sell the much anticipated handset, and is hopeful of striking a deal soon. 3 Mobile customers can sign the carrier's Web petition and send a message to Apple, or SMS the word 'iPhone' to 333000 to receive a form allowing them to send comments directly from their mobile.

Apple also set a general early July date for the release of the iPhone 2.0 firmware - the software driving the new enterprise functionality and features of the new handset.

Support for Apple's iWork suite and Microsoft Office Applications, access to Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync, the addition of VPN capabilities supporting Cisco IPsec and wireless encryption, and the iPhone Configuration Utility allowing greater security capabilities for IT administrators will facilitate the iPhone 3G's enterprise adoption.

Visit Apple's local information Web sites for more information on the iPhone 3G's enterprise features and enterprise integration tips.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Hendry

Computerworld

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