Telcos queue to sell iPhone 3G S in Australia

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Telcos queue to sell iPhone 3G S in Australia

Optus, Telstra and Vodafone have confirmed they will offer the iPhone 3G S handset from June 26.

Apple revealed details of the highly-anticipated handset overnight.

The "S", it said, stands for speed, claiming the handset will be twice as fast, take videos and go on sale for somewhere around US$199 ($253) to US$299 ($380) - at least in the United States.

There has been no indication yet of how much the handset will cost in Australia.

Both Vodafone and Optus pointed users to sign up for updates on their respective web sites. Vodafone's registration process opens tomorrow.

Nathan Burley, an analyst at Ovum, said the iPhone 3G S "is further evidence of the move towards managed device platforms (MDP).

"Gone are the days where you'd just buy a device that connects to the [mobile] network and that's it," Burley told iTnews.

"The difference for buyers of smartphones is connectivity and what that connectivity is able to offer them.

"Where we see that playing out is having some sort of management around the platform."

Apple's value proposition in this regard includes the App Store ecosystem, which enables users to get third-party software onto the device, and support for that software.

Research in Motion's BlackBerry ecosystem is "quite similar", Burley said.

Mobile operators were also starting to go after the same market, according to Burley.

Telstra offers a platform called TelstraOne on select Motorola and Sony Ericsson handsets. The platform provides single-click access to regularly used features, the ability to customise certain parts of the homepage, and widgets that users can subscribe to.

"TelstraOne is not quite as sophisticated as the iPhone but it's the same concept," Burley said.

"It's a platform that in this case is managed by the operator that offers new services, applications and value that can be explored by the end user.

"Consumers will increasingly make buying decisions based not on a device's potential to support advanced capabilities but - crucially - on the vendor managing their data and services on the device."

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