The Hunt For A New Smart Phone Takes A Turn!

Just received a note from the PR guys at Optus confirming they too will be officially licensing iPhone in Australia! Wow, could it be that still to come today we will be receiving emails from Telstra and Hutch3 on the subject too?

A smart phone is like a best friend. It knows everything about you, you have complete trust in it. You store passwords, appointments, emails, it knows what websites you have used it to visit, it even knows where you have been and where you are going. So purchasing a smart phone is a big decision, one I am not taking lightly, and in my line of work where everyone asks ‘Charlie, what phone do you have’ I believe it is important to conduct a highly diligent process to ensure I get the right device.

My Blackberry buzzed at lunch time yesterday when Vodafone’s PR agency sent out the good news for iPhone and Vodafone. My Blackberry is a gap filler, lent to me by the good people at Research In Motion until I find this golden halo of a smart phone. I received the loan product (complete with giant sticker on the back ‘Property of Research In Motion’) when my search started, two years ago!

It was time to get really excited that finally the iPhone is coming to Australia! Actually that is nothing new, go to any university where hip Gen Y’s are quenching their thirst for knowledge and you will see hacked iPhone’s working on Aussie phone networks. The exciting news is that Vodafone have announced they are doing a multi-territory deal that includes Australia. So, when the iPhone is launched in Australia, it will be available legitimately to Vodafone customers around the nation.

I must say I am not that excited. I’ve been to the US many times and while being issued the 20 questions by the department of homeland security have considered rewarding my adventure by purchasing myself an iPhone. I know how to unlock them, it is really easy actually. However, I have seen the iPhone working and even had Apple showcasing the best features of it to me at Macworld but I am not adding it to my shopping list. I think it is the coolest thing to come out of 2007, however until the iPhone comes out with a 3G option I will continue the hunt.

We’re lucky in Australia, although most things to do with broadband are behind many, many other countries, we have a really good 3G or Next Generation mobile phone network. Telstra plonked one in (called Next G) and the three other local players including Hutchison, Vodafone and Optus have been rolling out their services, all with high speeds for downloading content, various competitive pricing models and national customer reach penetration.

So with this in mind, it would make no sense at all to drop anywhere from $600 to $1200 on a smart phone unless it had 3G. So, do you iPhone or do you hold off until Apple works out how to make a battery that will power the iPhone and run the 3G phone circuitry?