Despite iPhone rumours, users still stuck with their POMPs

iPhone speculation mounts while Apple, true to form, keeps mum.

Local IT industry rags and tabloid media have been abuzz this past week with 'news' that Apple will launch the iPhone in Australia in June.

The speculation was started by an article on CNet that claimed that Optus and other unnamed telcos will be the providers of the product/service. In the US the phone is locked to a sole supplier -- AT&T.

But as always, Apple has refused to comment. Local spokesperson Fiona Martin did not even fess up to the fact the company would sell the iPhone locally, let alone when.

So the speculation continues.

According to the IT rags, expect to hear things at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, which runs from June 9-13. What is more certain is that the 3G version of the phone, if analysts are to be believed, will be launched at that conference.

But those eager to buy the phone -- albeit a cracked version -- have been free to do so for some time. Searching eBay.com.au continually yields local purveyors of unlocked versions: Iselliphone, which was advertising 16GB iPhones at $874.99, had nine in stock as of 3.30pm EST Tuesday afternoon. And not only were they unlocked, they were also "Australianised" for users' convenience.

Even local newspapers are sources. The Sydney-based Inner Western Suburbs Courier has an ad running in its most recent issue for a cracked phone.

Rumours of the iPhone's Aussie release date are not new. In April, participants in the MacTalk forum claimed the phone would arrive at the end of June. However, that claim was debunked by several Apple resellers.

In the meantime, the Plain Old Mobile Phone (POMP) will have to do.

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Howard Dahdah

Computerworld
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