Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin has confirmed an interest in the iPhone but admits he's worried about the lack of 3G connectivity in the device.
Discussing the company's quarterly results on Thursday, Sarin said that the mobile operator is still considering a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone: "We have to look at the economics: is it sensible for us to be carrying that and what the value leakage is. We've had the various discussions we've needed to have on that."
Sarin also expressed scepticism on the iPhone's lack of 3G coverage to date, after the device launched in the US sporting only EDGE coverage.
"We're now in broadband environment and you can't really get good experience off the Internet in 2G narrowband environments," he said.
However, the Vodafone CEO added that the iPhone has had a positive impact overall on users' perception of data. "Is it a good thing that this new kind of phone makes mobile Internet and data much more accessible? For our industry, it's a good thing that kind of product is coming around, it's software driven. It'll raise everyone's games, and that's a good thing."
The iPhone is expected to come to Australia some time next year. While Telstra is considered to be the likely front runner -- a Telstra spokesperson recently told ZDNet Australia "Telstra looks forward to reviewing the iPhone as we would all other devices in development" -- analysts have suggested Hutchison-owned 3 might also be a good fit for a 3G-enabled iPhone.
According to industry watchers Ovum, 70 percent of all connections in Australia by 2010 will be 3G, increasing from 29 percent in 2007.