Apple's hotly anticipated iPhone 3GS smartphone has hit the streets in Australia. Although not accompanied by quite the buzz as the iPhone 3G launch 12 months ago, there is still plenty of interest in Apple's latest smartphone.
Australia is a unique iPhone market: it is one of the only countries in the world that with all major telcos — Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and 3 — carrying the iPhone. In the US people have to sign up with AT&T if they want an iPhone, as it is the exclusive iPhone carrier.
With the competition for customers so intense, what network offers the best value plans and what can you expect to pay for a new iPhone 3GS? Keep up to date with all the pricing and plan information.
Optus was the first Australian telco to unveil pricing plans for the iPhone 3GS, announcing the details four days before launch .
Optus offers the iPhone on a range of caps, but the "hero" offer is the 32GB iPhone 3GS, which will be available for $0 a $99 Timeless plan over 24 months. The plan includes unlimited standard national calls, text and MMS, plus 1.5GB of mobile data.
The $99 Timeless plan includes a mobile Internet pack. This normally cost users an extra $14.99 per month, but for people who sign up for the plan in the next three months, Optus will credit the fee each month for the duration of the 24-month contract. The offer will apply to new and recontracting customers.
Optus will allow Internet tethering on the $99 Timeless plan (and all other Timeless plans) at no extra cost. Tethering on Optus' non-timeless iPhone plans will cost $9.99 extra per month. Users who sign up for any iPhone 3GS plan online will receive $100 free credit.
Here is a breakdown of the Optus iPhone 3GS pricing:
|24-month handset price||12-month handset price|
|'yes' Timeless Plans|
|‘yes’ Timeless $99 Plan when you take the $14.99 Mobile Internet Pack||8GB||$0 upfront||$21/month||16GB||$0 upfront||$34/month||32GB||$0 upfront||$48/month|
|‘yes’ Timeless $129 Plan||8GB||$0 upfront||$21/month||16GB||$0 upfront||$34/month||32GB||$0 upfront||$48/month|
|'yes' Cap Plans|
|'yes' $19 Cap iPhone Plan||8GB||$20/month||$50/month||16GB||$27/month||$63/month||32GB||$34/month||$76/month|
|'yes' $49 Cap iPhone Plan||8GB||$6/month||$36/month||16GB||$13/month||$49/month||32GB||$19/month||$62/month|
|'yes' $59 Cap iPhone Plan||8GB||$0 upfront||$31/month||16GB||$8/month||$44/month||32GB||$14/month||$57/month|
|'yes' $79 Cap iPhone Plan||8GB||$0 upfront||$26/month||16GB||$3/month||$39/month||32GB||$10/month||$52/month|
(Prices as of 22 June)
Telstra waited until the day of launch to official unveil their iPhone plans, a far cry from Optus who revealed their plans four days earlier and also had a midnight launch at many stores across the country.
The big news from the Telstra camp is the introduction of Telstra iPhone cap plans for the first time. The iPhone 3GS is also available on the current iPhone plans and Telstra's phone plan ultimate.
Telstra's hero offer is the 32GB or 16 GB iPhone 3GS for $0 over 24 months on a $150 phone plan ultimate. The ultimate plan provides 2000 minutes of standard voice calls, 2000 text messages in Australia and 150MB of data per month.
On the Next G cap plans, consumers have to add a data pack to their monthly cost. Packs start at $5 for 5MB all the way up to $119 for 9GB. Telstra has yet to confirm if they will charge extra for tethering, but this is unlikely — customers should be able to simply add on one of the data packs.
Telstra has also reduced upfront prices for the existing 8GB iPhone 3G.
For more information, see our table below.
|3G and Next G cap plans|
|Cap||iPhone 3GS upfront cost (16GB)||iPhone 3GS upfront cost (32GB)|
|Plan||Included monthly spend|
Prices as of 26 June. Visit Telstra's iPhone 3GS Pricing Web page for full details.
Vodafone offers the iPhone 3GS 16GB free on its $69 iPhone Cap over 24 months. The plan includes $400 worth of calls, text and MMS, unlimited free Vodafone-to-Vodafone calls during the evening and on weekends, and 1GB of included data.
The 32GB iPhone 3GS will be free on a $114 Cap over 24 months, which includes unlimited calls, text, MMS and voicemail and 2GB data.
Unlike Optus, Vodafone will not be charging its iPhone customers a monthly access fee to use Internet tethering, but the telco has provided the option to purchase additional data for tethering: 1GB will cost $24.95 and 2GB will cost $29.95 (both options will be available from August).
Interestingly, Vodafone is also offering the iPhone to prepaid customers. The existing 8GB iPhone 3G will cost $759 up-front on a prepaid plan, while you'll pay $929 up-front for the 16GB iPhone 3GS and $1129 for the flagship 32GB model. Customers who purchase and register a prepaid iPhone before 31 August will receive a bonus $500 Flexible Credit ($100 bonus Flexible Credit on each of their next 5 Prepaid Recharges on $49, $79 or $149 Flexi-caps).
Vodafone only offers the iPhone on 24-month plans (Optus has a 12-month option on most plans), but it is the only Australian telco thus far to offer Visual Voicemail. Post-paid customers who purchase the iPhone 3GS online before 30 June 2009 will receive $100 bonus credit.
For more information, see our table below.
|24-month cap contracts|
|Cap||iPhone 3GS cost (16GB)||iPhone 3GS (32GB)|
|iPhone 3GS cost (16GB)||iPhone 3GS (32GB)|
Prices as of 24 June. Visit Vodafone's iPhone Pricing Web page for full details.