Optus and Apple release iPhone 4 pricing

Optus and Apple have also this morning released local pricing details for the iPhone.
Written by Renai LeMay, Contributor and  Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

Optus and Apple have also this morning released local pricing details for the iPhone.

Optus will offer potential iPhone 4 custmers a AU$49 capped plan, but with substantially better data allowance than Telstra, which also released its pricing today. On the AU$49 cap plan, Optus customers will pick up AU$450 worth of monthly calls and text and a whopping 1GB of data. Over the life of a 24-month contract, customers will pay $0 extra per month for the 8GB iPhone 3GS, and AU$8 and AU$15 extra for the 16GB iPhone 4 and 32GB iPhone 4 respectively.

The telco has three more iPhone plans: an AU$59 plan with AU$550 of included value and 2GB of data, a AU$79 plan with AU$800 value and 2GB of data, and an AU$89 plan with "unlimited" value and 3GB of data. Customers will pay nothing extra per month for their handsets under these plans — except AU$10 per month for the 32GB iPhone 4 under the AU$59 plan.

Meanwhile, Apple Australia late last night issued a statement stating that the iPhone 4 would go on sale locally for a recommended retail price starting from AU$859 — indicating that the 16GB model will cost AU$859. Reports have priced the 32GB model at AU$999, but ZDNet Australia had not been able to reach Apple to confirm this at the time of writing.

Vodafone and 3 — operated by mobile telco VHA in Australia — tweeted from their respective Twitter accounts yesterday that they would be updating customers on their iPhone 4 options on Wednesday. Optus subsidiary Virgin Mobile has not yet disclosed its pricing.

Optus said that since the iPhone 3G was launched in Australia in July 2008, it had "invested significantly in its mobile network", building over 1000 new 3G mobile sites and undertaking "well over 2500 upgrades" to existing sites.

"In addition, over the past 12 months Optus has more than doubled the carrying capacity on its mobile network and bought additional spectrum for use in both metropolitan and regional Australia," the company said in its statement.

But in a post on its Exchange blog, Telstra appeared to mock Optus' efforts.

"As iPhone adoption soared, some Australian networks buckled under the load," wrote Telstra executive director of mobility products Ross Fielding. "Customers reported slow page loads, extended buffering while streaming online media and age-long waits as they tried to update their social-networking profiles. For many it was a mobile internet experience closer to dial-up than mobile broadband."

"Telcos with foresight invested in their networks to stay ahead of the demand for data. For instance, Telstra has now invested more than $2 billion in the Next G network to best ensure customers get the speeds, coverage and reliable access to online services they paid for."

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