Apple iPhone: Your Australian operator is ...

Good news, everyone -- after all these months of waiting, I can finally reveal which operator will be bringing the iPhone to Australia. And the winner is ...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Good news, everyone -- after all these months of waiting, I can finally reveal which operator will be bringing the iPhone to Australia. And the winner is ...

ZDNet.com.au. Yep, that's right: ZDNet.com.au. You're probably wondering where I got my information from, right? Well, the fact is, ZDNet.com.au is doing a bit of iPhone development. We've launched a version of our Web site specifically designed for iPhones and we're looking at developing some applications for the device now that the SDK is out in the public domain.

It couldn't really be clearer, could it? We're doing some development work around the iPhone so we must be the lucky operator that's won it. You might be thinking that we're a business and technology news site, not a mobile carrier, and therefore I'm talking cobblers but bear with me for a second.

The eagle-eyed mobile watchers out there have spotted that Sensis has posted a job advert asking for some iPhone developers to produce some applications for the Telstra search arm.

"We're looking for a BA [business analyst] with a technical front-end UI background to help us design cutting-edge search applications for the iPhone. This isn't boring old specification-heavy BA work. This is exciting and agile BA work to help us envision mobile search applications that work great and look beautiful. Let us know if you think you've got the right combination of creative flair, geekiness, and detail orientation to get the job done," says the ad.

Has Telstra won the iPhone? It's very possible. Is this job posting the evidence to that effect we've all been craving? Is it bollocks.

I know a lot of people are desperate to find out which operator will be Apple's partner for the iPhone's Australian launch -- I'm one of them -- but I don't think a job advert about iPhone development is in any way a clue.

Anyone with a mobile strategy is bigging up the iPhone portion of it. Not because there are a lot of iPhone users out there -- there aren't -- but because the small proportion of iPhone users are vociferous consumers of mobile data compared to those who access mobile data on any other platform. Just because Sensis is upping its iPhone development, it doesn't automatically follow that parent Telstra is bringing out the iPhone.

That said, it's more than likely we'll see the iPhone pop up on Telstra. It has the clout that Apple will be looking for and an impressive track record on customers using non-SMS mobile data.

But that track record could be a potential sticking point between the two -- the iPhone contract reportedly requires the carrier partner to hand over some of that data revenue, which I can't see Telstra boss Trujillo feeling entirely comfortable with. I've never thought of him as a man hell-bent on compromise or a particularly giving chap. Ask rural ISPs. Or Helen Coonan. Or the ACCC. Or ...

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