iPhone 5S, 5C to be released in Australia on September 20

iPhone 5S, 5C to be released in Australia on September 20

Summary: Australians are set to be amongst the first in the world to get the new iPhone 5S and 5C, which will also work on Optus' new TD-LTE network.

TOPICS: Apple, iPhone, Australia

The new iPhones 5S and 5C are due to be released in Australia on September 20, starting at AU$739, and, unlike previous versions of the iPhone, Apple appears to have gone the extra mile to ensure long-term evolution (LTE) compatibility in a number of regions and spectrum bands.

(Image: Apple)

In Cupertino, California, on Tuesday, Apple revealed its latest flagship iPhone devices in two iterations: The iPhone 5S, and the cheaper iPhone 5C, replacing the existing iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5S comes in gold, silver, and "space-grey" colours, a 4-inch display like the iPhone 5, a 64-bit A7 chip, a fingerprint reader, 10 hours of LTE browsing or 3G talk time, an 8-megapixel camera, and the long-awaited iOS 7 operating system.

It comes in three sizes, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, priced at AU$869, $999, and AU$1,129, respectively, to buy the phones outright and not on any contract.

The iPhone 5C is Apple's product aimed at the lower end of the smartphone market, but is still quite expensive on its own. It comes with a polycarbonate backing in green, grey, light blue, peach, and yellow. It has a 4-inch screen, an A6 chip, an 8-megapixel camera, and iOS 7.

It comes in 16GB and 32GB sizes, priced at AU$739 and AU$869, respectively, to purchase outright.

Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, and Virgin have all committed to offering the products from September 20, with pre-orders expected to commence from Friday.

(Image: Apple)

To ensure wide compatibility in a number of countries, Apple has made four different models of the 5C and 5S to work on different types of mobile networks and spectrum bands. The fourth model will work on Australia's 3G networks, and 4G networks in the 1800MHz spectrum band.

Interestingly, the new iPhones will also be compatible with Optus' time-division long-term evolution (TD-LTE) network that it has switched on in Canberra and is slowly switching on in other parts of Australia. Apple will not be the first vendor to make a compatible mobile device, however, with Samsung releasing a compatible Galaxy S4.

The announcement will likely please the residents of Canberra, who are only able to access LTE through the TD-LTE network. This includes our nation's elected representatives, who are now able to choose from a range of smartphone devices from the one-stop IT shop in the Australian parliament.

The new iPhones are not compatible with the 700MHz spectrum band for LTE in Australia (which is band 28), but by the time the carriers are able to use the spectrum in 2015, there will likely be another iPhone released.

The price of the Australian models is higher than the US, excluding sales tax and taking into account the current conversion rate. The US prices are often quoted as being much cheaper than they appear in Australia due to the phones being priced on a two-year contract in the US, but even outright the prices are still lower than Australians will pay, including GST.

The price for the 5S unlocked in the US is US$649 for 16GB, US$749 for 32GB, and US$849 for 64GB. For the 5C unlocked it is US$549 for the 16GB and US$649 for the 32GB.


Topics: Apple, iPhone, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • the Australia tax

    is as high as ever I see
    • or

      is it even higher now?
      • I was going to say no

        Because the US prices are often quoted as being on two-year contracts, but even with the conversion rate and adding GST, you're right there is still a price difference.
        Josh Taylor
        • Rebate

          It's not an Australian tax, it's a US rebate. Have a look at European prices. I assume it's the same for the rest of the world. The 5C 32GB costs almost double what the Galaxy S4 16 GB costs.
  • Australia tax or Exchange Rate change

    Aussie dollar has fallen roughly 15% vs US$ since iPhone 5 introduction last year.

    Matches increase in tier pricing
    • Exchange rate checked

      I checked it on the current exchange rate. But you're right. In terms of trends, if the AUD keeps going down, then the prices would be more in line.
      Josh Taylor
      • I wondered if this was why

        Apple pricing in general is cheaper in Aus than the US (or EU) since the exchange rate dropped.

        The 5C is too expensive as an outright purchase in Aus to count as a 'cheap' phone and I assumed it would have to be heavily discounted in markets such as China.

        So quite possible they are building in a buffer.

        Not good news for our exchange rate then.
  • American Outright Prices

    5C 16Gb - $549 and 5S 16GB - $649

    $220 cheaper compared to Aus prices.
  • Considering GST and Exchange Rate

    you still save around $100, when you buy from US.
  • please get the pricing comparison right people..

    The actual outright price of an unlocked 32GB 5S in the US is $749. This does not include sales tax, which is added at the time of purchase. I think that's about 9%. So that takes it to $816.

    Now we have to convert the price. While the ostensible rate today is about 92c, the real rate that most of us would pay if we were using some of the standard exchange services would be closer to 88c.

    So that takes the price to $927. Which is only $72 less than the retail price of the same phone in Australia. Not that big a deal after all is it.
    Christo the Daddyo
  • Look at the keynote

    In the keynote video issue as promotional material by Apple the prices for a IPhone S are:
    16GB: $199
    32GB: $299
    64GB: $399
    (Apple keynote http://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2013/ at approximate 64 mins in)

    So why this disparity?
    Are Apple wholesaling to retailers like Telstra, Optus Virgin and Vodafone at a much inflated rate than they do in the USA market?
    Or are these retailers price gouging?