Telstra, Optus and Apple itself this morning released their respective local pricing details for the iPhone 4, with the big T also confirming it would open its stores around Australia at midnight on Thursday night to give full access to customers keen to pick up the hyped Apple handset as soon as humanly possible.
Optus yesterday told customers it would open a handful of stores around the nation for midnight launches, but Telstra will open 25 - including, for example, stores in Tasmania and South Australia, where Optus will not open stores at midnight for the launch.
In terms of the actual pricing plans, both Optus and Telstra will launch the iPhone 4 on plans ranging from a $49 monthly capped plan upwards.
Telstra's entry level $49 plan will see the customer provided with what Telstra described as $400 of included value – voice, SMS and MMS access to any Australian network – and 200MB of data allowance. If customers buy a 16GB iPhone 4, they will pay $149 upfront on the $49 plan, whereas if they buy a 32GB iPhone 4 they will pay $299 upfront.
Apple overnight said it would release a new 8GB iPhone 3GS model in Australia alongside the iPhone 4 – for which Telstra customers will pay nothing upfront on the $49 cap.
Telstra will also offer the iPhone 4 on a $79 cap plan, which will offer $750 of monthly included value and 500MB of data. Customers will pay nothing upfront for an 8GB iPhone 3GS or a 16GB iPhone 4 on the plan, but will $199 upfront for a 32GB iPhone 4.
Telstra's top-end iPhone 4 plan is its $99 cap, which comes with 500Mb of data and $1000 of included value. Customers will pay nothing upfront for any of the Apple handsets when they sign up for this plan. It is believed all of the iPhone plans are 24 month plans.
Telstra's iPhone 4 plans:
Optus will also offer potential iPhone 4 custmers a $49 capped plan -- but with substantially better data allowance than Telstra. Optus customers will pick up $450 worth of monthly included value on the $49 plan and a whopping 1GB of data. They will pay nothing extra per month for the 8GB iPhone 3GS, $8 extra for the 16GB iPhone 4, and $15 for the 32GB iPhone 4 over the life of a 24 month contract.
The telco has three more iPhone plans -- a $59 plan with $550 of included value and 2GB of data, a $79 plan with $800/2GB and an $89 plan with “unlimited” value and 3GB of data. Customers will pay nothing extra per month for their handsets under these plans -- except for $10 per month for the 32GB iPhone 4 under the $59 plan.
The SingTel subsidiary said that since the iPhone 3G was launched in Australia in July 2008, it had “invested significantly in its mobile network”, building over 1,000 new 3G mobile sites and undertaking “well over 2,500 upgrades” to existing sites.
“In addition, over the past 12 months Optus has more than doubled the carrying capacity on its mobile network and bought additional spectrum for use in both metropolitan and regional Australia,” the company said in its statement.
But in a post on its Exchange blog, Telstra appeared to mock Optus' efforts.
“As iPhone adoption soared, some Australian networks buckled under the load,” wrote Telstra executive director of mobility products Ross Fielding. “Customers reported slow page loads, extended buffering while streaming online media and age-long waits as they tried to update their social networking profiles. For many it was a mobile internet experience closer to dial-up than mobile broadband.”
“Telcos with foresight invested in their networks to stay ahead of the demand for data. For instance Telstra has now invested more than $2 billion in the Next G network to best ensure customers get the speeds, coverage and reliable access to online services they paid for."
Optus's iPhone 4 plans:
Meanwhile, Apple Australia late last night issued a cryptic statement stating the iPhone 4 would go on sale locally for a recommended retail price starting from AU$859 -- but the company did not disclose any further details. There are several models of the iPhone 4 – with different 16GB and 32GB memory sizes.
Vodafone and 3 - both brands which are operated by mobile telco VHA in Australia – tweeted from their respective Twitter accounts yesterday that they would be updating customers on their iPhone 4 options on Wednesday. Optus subsidiary Virgin Mobile has not yet disclosed its pricing.