3 Mobile asks Apple for iPhone

Web petition launched

3 Mobile Australia has launched a Web site to encourage Apple to partner with the company to offer the iPhone 3G.

In yet another example of the enormous popularity and pulling power of the iPhone, the Web site allows customers can register their interest in the soon-to-be-launched device — despite no current plans to offer the phone on the network.

"Ever since Apple's announcement that a 3G iPhone is coming, we've had lots of calls and e-mails", said Noel Hamill, 3 Mobile's director of sales and marketing. "The main flavour is people wanting to get the value that 3 offers with the iPhone. We want Apple to see just how much our customers want the iPhone."

3 customers can register their interest on the page and also send a message to Apple. They can also SMS the word iPhone to 333000 to receive a form allowing them to enter their comments directly from their mobile.

3 has confirmed the iPhone 3G won't be available from the carrier when the handset launches in Australia on July 11, but the company remains hopeful it will eventually be able to strike a deal with Apple.

Hamill said that the company has been "engaging with Apple" in an attempt to secure the phone. Currently, Vodafone and Optus are the two confirmed Australian networks to offer the iPhone 3G at launch, though no pricing details have been announced.

In the US, the iPhone 3G 8GB will sell for $US199 while the 16GB model will retail for $US299 — though this pricing is based on connecting to a two-year contract with US network AT&T.

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